HB 557

85(R) - 2017
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Administration
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Administration
Criminal Justice

Companion Bill

SB 325

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Nicole Collier


Konni Burton

Bill Caption

Relating to the expunction of arrest records and files for certain persons and to the return of certain fees to a person whose criminal record has been expunged or who is the subject of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information; authorizing a fee.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify certain procedures related to the expunction of certain arrest records. This bill would allow an acquitted person, or an attorney for the state with the consent of an acquitted person, to request an order of expunction. This bill specifies under which conditions the attorney for the state or for the acquitted individual would be required to prepare the petition for expunction.

Additionally, this bill would authorize justice or municipal courts to expunge records and files that relate to an arrest for an offense punishable by fine only. In this situation, the person who is entitled to expunction may file an ex parte petition for expunction in a justice or municipal court in the county that the petitioner was arrested or the offense was alleged to have occurred. They would be required to pay a $100 fee in addition to any other fees if they are seeking expunction in a justice or municipal court. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill upholds our principles limited government and individual liberty by reducing the burden for innocent people to clear their records for crimes that they were acquitted of. Despite this change being largely procedural, it will have the substantive effect of reducing the transaction costs associated with petitioning for an order of expunction thereby making this process more efficient and less burdensome to someone who already had to suffer the burden of defending themselves in a court of law. We support HB 557.

Organizations Supporting

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Christian Life Commission
Texas Appleseed
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Texas Public Policy Foundation