Monday, June 4, 2007

Expunction: State of Texas v. Beam (Tex. 2007)

State Prevails in Blocking Expunction - Limitations Had Not Run

State of Texas v. Beam, No. 06-0974 (Tex. Jun. 1, 2007)(Jefferson)(expunction, misdemeanor)

In this expunction case, the trial court granted the petition and the court of appeals affirmed. On review sought by the State, the Supreme Court sides with the State in holding that expunction of both felonies and misdemeanors is improper if granted before the statute of limitations has expired. The Texas Legislature had amended that expunction statue in 2001 to require that the applicable limitations period have run its course prior to the filing of an expunction petition. The lower courts of appeals had been divided on whether the toughened requirement applied to misdemeanor offenses. The Supreme Court decided the question just in time in the case at hand, as the two-year limitations period for the offenses which Beam was arrested for will expire within three weeks of the opinion release date.

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