Expunge & Erase My Criminal Record


Do we expunge criminal records at the Cook & Cook Law Firm?   Yes. Call (210) 271-2800 to have a free telephone consultation.   This service is limited to people needing expunctions who have been charged with crimes in Bexar County, Texas.

Criminal records profoundly effect people. The story usually goes something like this:  Sally is 15.  She wants some makeup but does not have the cash.  Her friends tell her to steal it.  She tries.  She is caught red-handed on camera.  She is arrested and brought to juvenile detention.  She fights the case.  She wins.  Now, she is applying to college.  She thought that because her case was dismissed, the theft arrest and theft charge would automatically get erased off of her criminal record. No sir.  Nothing is automatic when it comes to criminal records in Texas.

An Expungement is a Legal Process of Ordering the Destruction of Your Criminal Records

erasing-criminal-records

Criminal Records Do Not Disappear Just Because the Case Was Dismissed

In San Antonio and surrounding cities in Texas, we know that criminal records do not just disappear because of a favorable outcome in a case.  Rather, the opportunity to get the case erased arises because the case was dismissed. Said another way; a dismissals does not cause an expunction, it enables the Defendant the right to have an expunction filed.   Expunging a criminal record is a legal procedure that requires a petition to be filed with specific information, along with a hearing and signed order.  Your Attorney can likely do the entire expungement process without you ever needing to come to court for a thing.

Do You Qualify To Have Your Record Expunged?

  • Was your Case Acquitted?
  • Was your Case pardoned?
  • Was your Case dismissed?

If any of these three circumstances apply to you, you may be able to get your case expunged.  We can expunge records for underage drinking charges, domestic violence charges, misdemeanor cases, and assault charges along with MANY other types of criminal charges.

Benefits of Having Your Case Expunged (cleared)

  • Jobs (With your case(s) expunged, you will qualify to Get Better Jobs)
  • credit (You will more easily qualify for loans)
  • rights (With your case expunged some of your legal rights will be restored)
  • housing (With your case expunged, you can get into better housing and/or apartments)

How Much Will the Expunction / Expungement Cost in San Antonio at Cook & Cook?

The flat fee price for our full expunction service for the destruction of one criminal arrest record is $1,380.  Very importantly, this price includes the $600 in filing fees necessary to serve all of the relevant agencies.  Call us at (210) 271-2800 to get started.  You can order us to erase your criminal record below.

Can I Expunge My Case WITHOUT a lawyer?

 I do not recommend you to attempt the expunction process without a lawyer.  The filing fees of about $600 are non-refundable.  It is important that the process is completed properly in order to be effective.  When you get your expunction done, it does NOTHING to destroy your criminal records until it is sent to ALL agencies that have information relating to your case.  If ONE agency does not receive notice that they have to destroy the records, then your entire background check can still show up “dirty.”  Even if you do not hire a lawyer, you have to pay filing fees and the certified records fees.  These add up to over $500.  Why not pay a bit extra to assure the matter is handled properly?

Do Expunctions Really Work?

In a word: YES.  Of course they work!  People spend good money on getting these records destroyed.  I was hired by a client to handle a marijuana case.  I was able to get the marijuana charged dismissed.  The Client hired me to expunge his case so that it would not longer exist in any records.  I did the expunction procedure.  One year later, he was charged with possessing marijuana a second time.  When he hired me to handle the SECOND case, I had the opportunity to sit down with the state and look at the prosecutor’s file, which reveals any and all background information.  The file showed that this client had NO criminal history whatsoever.  No arrests, no reports, nada.  In other words, yes expunctions work.

Why Hire the Cook & Cook Law Firm To Expunge the Record?

We are Proud to Have a 100% Success Rate with Expunctions at Cook & Cook

I am so glad you asked!  At Cook & Cook, we have a 100% success rate with our criminal expunction clients.  This means that we have NEVER once been hired to do an expunction that we did not successfully complete.  While in law there are never any guaranteed outcomes, we are confident that after we have done a case assessment to see if you qualify, that we will succeed in getting your case expunged.

Also, some Attorneys get hired and sit on cases for months before completing the work–but not us.  We understand that your criminal record may be an emergency.  Maybe you need to qualify for a loan.  Maybe you need to fill out an apartment application or college application.  Whatever the case is, we will treat it with the attention it deserves.

Below, I have enclosed ALL of the statutory law in Texas relating to Expunctions so that you can assess it for yourself!

When you get a case expunged, you can legally state that it never happened!

Order Cook & Cook to Erase My Record!

Erase My Criminal Record!

  • After you submit this form, you will be brought to our secure payment page, where you may send your $1,380 payment via credit card. (discover, visa, Mastercard)
 

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You can pay for your expunction using this secure link:

Texas Law on Expunction of Criminal Records

This is the primary source for expunction law, which essentially states that you cannot get your case expunged unless it was dismissed (deferred adjudication DOES NOT count), acquitted or pardoned.

CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 55. EXPUNCTION OF CRIMINAL RECORDS

Art. 55.01. RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION. (a)  A person who has been placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if:

(1)  the person is tried for the offense for which the person was arrested and is:

(A)  acquitted by the trial court, except as provided by Subsection (c); or

(B)  convicted and subsequently:

(i)  pardoned for a reason other than that described by Subparagraph (ii); or

(ii)  pardoned or otherwise granted relief on the basis of actual innocence with respect to that offense, if the applicable pardon or court order clearly indicates on its face that the pardon or order was granted or rendered on the basis of the person’s actual innocence; or

(2)  the person has been released and the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and there was no court-ordered community supervision under Article 42.12 for the offense, unless the offense is a Class C misdemeanor, provided that:

(A)  regardless of whether any statute of limitations exists for the offense and whether any limitations period for the offense has expired, an indictment or information charging the person with the commission of a misdemeanor offense based on the person’s arrest or charging the person with the commission of any felony offense arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested:

(i)  has not been presented against the person at any time following the arrest, and:

(a)  at least 180 days have elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and if there was no felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested;

(b)  at least one year has elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a Class B or A misdemeanor and if there was no felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested;

(c)  at least three years have elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a felony or if there was a felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested; or

(d)  the attorney representing the state certifies that the applicable arrest records and files are not needed for use in any criminal investigation or prosecution, including an investigation or prosecution of another person; or

(ii)  if presented at any time following the arrest, was dismissed or quashed, and  the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed or quashed because the person completed a pretrial intervention program authorized under Section 76.011, Government Code, because the presentment had been made because of mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe the person committed the offense, or because the indictment or information was void; or

(B)  prosecution of the person for the offense for which the person was arrested is no longer possible because the limitations period has expired.

(a-1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a person may not expunge records and files relating to an arrest that occurs pursuant to a warrant issued under Section 21, Article 42.12.

(a-2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a person who intentionally or knowingly absconds from the jurisdiction after being released under Chapter 17 following an arrest is not eligible under Subsection (a)(2)(A)(i)(a), (b), or (c) or Subsection (a)(2)(B) for an expunction of the records and files relating to that arrest.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a district court may expunge all records and files relating to the arrest of a person who has been arrested for commission of a felony or misdemeanor under the procedure established under Article 55.02 if:

(1)  the person is:

(A)  tried for the offense for which the person was arrested;

(B)  convicted of the offense; and

(C)  acquitted by the court of criminal appeals or, if the period for granting a petition for discretionary review has expired, by a court of appeals; or

(2)  an office of the attorney representing the state authorized by law to prosecute the offense for which the person was arrested recommends the expunction to the appropriate district court before the person is tried for the offense, regardless of whether an indictment or information has been presented against the person in relation to the offense.

(c)  A court may not order the expunction of records and files relating to an arrest for an offense for which a person is subsequently acquitted, whether by the trial court, a court of appeals, or the court of criminal appeals, if the offense for which the person was acquitted arose out of a criminal episode, as defined by Section 3.01, Penal Code, and the person was convicted of or remains subject to prosecution for at least one other offense occurring during the criminal episode.

(d) A person is entitled to have any information that identifies the person, including the person’s name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and social security number, contained in records and files relating to the arrest of another person expunged if:

(1) the information identifying the person asserting the entitlement to expunction was falsely given by the person arrested as the arrested person’s identifying information without the consent of the person asserting the entitlement; and

(2) the only reason for the information identifying the person asserting the entitlement being contained in the arrest records and files of the person arrested is that the information was falsely given by the person arrested as the arrested person’s identifying information.

Procedure for Getting Expunction

Here is the Texas Law that explains what Attorneys must do to complete the expunction for a client.  (you’re welcome)

Art. 55.02. PROCEDURE FOR EXPUNCTION.

Sec. 1.  At the request of the defendant and after notice to the state, the trial court presiding over the case in which the defendant was acquitted, if the trial court is a district court, or a district court in the county in which the trial court is located shall enter an order of expunction for a person entitled to expunction under Article 55.01(a)(1)(A) not later than the 30th day after the date of the acquittal.  Upon acquittal, the trial court shall advise the defendant of the right to expunction.  The defendant shall provide to the district court all of the information required in a petition for expunction under Section 2(b).  The attorney for the defendant in the case in which the defendant was acquitted, if the defendant was represented by counsel, or the attorney for the state, if the defendant was not represented by counsel, shall prepare the order for the court’s signature.

Sec. 1a. (a)  The trial court presiding over a case in which a defendant is convicted and subsequently granted relief or pardoned on the basis of actual innocence of the offense of which the defendant was convicted, if the trial court is a district court, or a district court in the county in which the trial court is located shall enter an order of expunction for a person entitled to expunction under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B)(ii) not later than the 30th day after the date the court receives notice of the pardon or other grant of relief.  The person shall provide to the district court all of the information required in a petition for expunction under Section 2(b).

(b)  The attorney for the state shall:

(1)  prepare an expunction order under this section for the court’s signature; and

(2)  notify the Texas Department of Criminal Justice if the person is in the custody of the department.

(c)  The court shall include in an expunction order under this section a listing of each official, agency, or other entity of this state or political subdivision of this state and each private entity that there is reason to believe has any record or file that is subject to the order.  The court shall also provide in an expunction order under this section that:

(1)  the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall send to the court the documents delivered to the department under Section 8(a), Article 42.09; and

(2)  the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall delete or redact, as appropriate, from their public records all index references to the records and files that are subject to the expunction order.

(d)  The court shall retain all documents sent to the court under Subsection (c)(1) until the statute of limitations has run for any civil case or proceeding relating to the wrongful imprisonment of the person subject to the expunction order.

Sec. 2.

(a)  A person who is entitled to expunction of records and files under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B)(i) or 55.01(a)(2) or a person who is eligible for expunction of records and files under Article 55.01(b) may file an ex parte petition for expunction in a district court for the county in which:

(1)  the petitioner was arrested; or

(2)  the offense was alleged to have occurred.

(b)  The petition must be verified and must include the following or an explanation for why one or more of the following is not included:

(1)  the petitioner’s:

(A)  full name;

(B)  sex;

(C)  race;

(D)  date of birth;

(E)  driver’s license number;

(F)  social security number; and

(G)  address at the time of the arrest;

(2)  the offense charged against the petitioner;

(3)  the date the offense charged against the petitioner was alleged to have been committed;

(4)  the date the petitioner was arrested;

(5)  the name of the county where the petitioner was arrested and if the arrest occurred in a municipality, the name of the municipality;

(6)  the name of the agency that arrested the petitioner;

(7)  the case number and court of offense; and

(8)  together with the applicable physical or e-mail addresses, a list of all:

(A)  law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state;

(B)  central federal depositories of criminal records that the petitioner has reason to believe have records or files that are subject to expunction; and

(C)  private entities that compile and disseminate for compensation criminal history record information that the petitioner has reason to believe have information related to records or files that are subject to expunction.

(c)  The court shall set a hearing on the matter no sooner than thirty days from the filing of the petition and shall give to each official or agency or other governmental entity named in the petition reasonable notice of the hearing by:

(1)  certified mail, return receipt requested; or

(2)  secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission.

(c-1)  An entity described by Subsection (c) may be represented by the attorney responsible for providing the entity with legal representation in other matters.

(d)  If the court finds that the petitioner, or a person for whom an ex parte petition is filed under Subsection (e), is entitled to expunction of any records and files that are the subject of the petition, it shall enter an order directing expunction.

(e)  The director of the Department of Public Safety or the director’s authorized representative may file on behalf of a person described by Subsection (a) of this section or by Section 2a an ex parte petition for expunction in a district court for the county in which:

(1)  the person was arrested; or

(2)  the offense was alleged to have occurred.

(f)  An ex parte petition filed under Subsection (e) must be verified and must include the following or an explanation for why one or more of the following is not included:

(1)  the person’s:

(A)  full name;

(B)  sex;

(C)  race;

(D)  date of birth;

(E)  driver’s license number;

(F)  social security number; and

(G)  address at the time of the arrest;

(2)  the offense charged against the person;

(3)  the date the offense charged against the person was alleged to have been committed;

(4)  the date the person was arrested;

(5)  the name of the county where the person was arrested and if the arrest occurred in a municipality, the name of the municipality;

(6)  the name of the agency that arrested the person;

(7)  the case number and court of offense; and

(8)  together with the applicable physical or e-mail addresses, a list of all:

(A)  law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state;

(B)  central federal depositories of criminal records that the person has reason to believe have records or files that are subject to expunction; and

(C)  private entities that compile and disseminate for compensation criminal history record information that the person has reason to believe have information relating to records or files that are subject to expunction.

Sec. 2a. (a) A person who is entitled to expunction of information contained in records and files under Article 55.01(d) may file an application for expunction with the attorney representing the state in the prosecution of felonies in the county in which the person resides.

(b) The application must be verified, include authenticated fingerprint records of the applicant, and include the following or an explanation for why one or more of the following is not included:

(1) the applicant’s full name, sex, race, date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, and address at the time the person who falsely identified himself or herself as the applicant was arrested;

(2) the following information regarding the arrest:

(A) the date of arrest;

(B) the offense charged against the person arrested;

(C) the name of the county or municipality in which the arrest occurred; and

(D) the name of the arresting agency; and

(3) a statement that:

(A) the applicant is not the person arrested and for whom the arrest records and files were created; and

(B) the applicant did not give the person arrested consent to falsely identify himself or herself as the applicant.

(c)  After verifying the allegations in an application received under Subsection (a), the attorney representing the state shall:

(1)  include on the application information regarding the arrest that was requested of the applicant but was unknown by the applicant;

(2)  forward a copy of the application to the district court for the county;

(3)  together with the applicable physical or e-mail addresses, attach to the copy a list of all:

(A)  law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state;

(B)  central federal depositories of criminal records that are reasonably likely to have records or files containing information that is subject to expunction; and

(C)  private entities that compile and disseminate for compensation criminal history record information that are reasonably likely to have records or files containing information that is subject to expunction; and

(4)  request the court to enter an order directing expunction based on an entitlement to expunction under Article 55.01(d).

(d) On receipt of a request under Subsection (c), the court shall, without holding a hearing on the matter, enter a final order directing expunction.

Sec. 3. (a) In an order of expunction issued under this article, the court shall require any state agency that sent information concerning the arrest to a central federal depository to request the depository to return all records and files subject to the order of expunction. The person who is the subject of the expunction order or an agency protesting the expunction may appeal the court’s decision in the same manner as in other civil cases.

(b) The order of expunction entered by the court shall have attached and incorporate by reference a copy of the judgment of acquittal and shall include:

(1) the following information on the person who is the subject of the expunction order:

(A) full name;

(B) sex;

(C) race;

(D) date of birth;

(E) driver’s license number; and

(F) social security number;

(2) the offense charged against the person who is the subject of the expunction order;

(3) the date the person who is the subject of the expunction order was arrested;

(4) the case number and court of offense; and

(5) the tracking incident number (TRN) assigned to the individual incident of arrest under Article 60.07(b)(1) by the Department of Public Safety.

(c)  When the order of expunction is final, the clerk of the court shall send a certified copy of the order to the Crime Records Service of the Department of Public Safety and to each official or agency or other governmental entity of this state or of any political subdivision of this state named in the order.  The certified copy of the order must be sent by secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission or otherwise by certified mail, return receipt requested.  In sending the order to a governmental entity named in the order, the clerk may elect to substitute hand delivery for certified mail under this subsection, but the clerk must receive a receipt for that hand-delivered order.

(c-1)  The Department of Public Safety shall notify any central federal depository of criminal records by any means, including secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission, of the order with an explanation of the effect of the order and a request that the depository, as appropriate, either:

(1)  destroy or return to the court the records in possession of the depository that are subject to the order, including any information with respect to the order; or

(2)  comply with Section 5(f) pertaining to information contained in records and files of a person entitled to expunction under Article 55.01(d).

(c-2)  The Department of Public Safety shall also provide, by secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission, notice of the order to any private entity that is named in the order or that purchases criminal history record information from the department.  The notice must include an explanation of the effect of the order and a request that the entity destroy any information in the possession of the entity that is subject to the order.  The department may charge to a private entity that purchases criminal history record information from the department a fee in an amount sufficient to recover costs incurred by the department in providing notice under this subsection to the entity.

(d)  Any returned receipts received by the clerk from notices of the hearing and copies of the order shall be maintained in the file on the proceedings under this chapter.

Sec. 4. (a)  If the state establishes that the person who is the subject of an expunction order is still subject to conviction for an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was arrested because the statute of limitations has not run and there is reasonable cause to believe that the state may proceed against the person for the offense, the court may provide in its expunction order that the law enforcement agency and the prosecuting attorney responsible for investigating the offense may retain any records and files that are necessary to the investigation.

(a-1)  The court shall provide in its expunction order that the applicable law enforcement agency and prosecuting attorney may retain the arrest records and files of any person who becomes entitled to an expunction of those records and files based on the expiration of a period described by Article 55.01(a)(2)(A)(i)(a), (b), or (c), but without the certification of the prosecuting attorney as described by Article 55.01(a)(2)(A)(i)(d).

(a-2)  In the case of a person who is the subject of an expunction order on the basis of an acquittal, the court may provide in the expunction order that the law enforcement agency and the prosecuting attorney retain records and files if:

(1)  the records and files are necessary to conduct a subsequent investigation and prosecution of a person other than the person who is the subject of the expunction order; or

(2)  the state establishes that the records and files are necessary for use in:

(A)  another criminal case, including a prosecution, motion to adjudicate or revoke community supervision, parole revocation hearing, mandatory supervision revocation hearing, punishment hearing, or bond hearing; or

(B)  a civil case, including a civil suit or suit for possession of or access to a child.

(b)  Unless the person who is the subject of the expunction order is again arrested for or charged with an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was arrested or unless the court provides for the retention of records and files under Subsection (a-1) or (a-2), the provisions of Articles 55.03 and 55.04 apply to files and records retained under this section.

Sec. 5. (a)  Except as provided by Subsections (f) and (g), on receipt of the order, each official or agency or other governmental entity named in the order shall:

(1)  return all records and files that are subject to the expunction order to the court or in cases other than those described by Section 1a, if removal is impracticable, obliterate all portions of the record or file that identify the person who is the subject of the order and notify the court of its action; and

(2)  delete from its public records all index references to the records and files that are subject to the expunction order.

(b) Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an expunction order on the basis of an acquittal or an expunction order based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d), the court may give the person who is the subject of the order all records and files returned to it pursuant to its order.

(c)  Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an expunction order based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d) and except as provided by Subsection (g), if an order of expunction is issued under this article, the court records concerning expunction proceedings are not open for inspection by anyone except the person who is the subject of the order unless the order permits retention of a record under Section 4 of this article and the person is again arrested for or charged with an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was arrested or unless the court provides for the retention of records and files under Section 4(a) of this article.  The clerk of the court issuing the order shall obliterate all public references to the proceeding and maintain the files or other records in an area not open to inspection.

(d)  Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an expunction order on the basis of an acquittal or an expunction order based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d) and except as provided by Subsection (g), the clerk of the court shall destroy all the files or other records maintained under Subsection (c) not earlier than the 60th day after the date the order of expunction is issued or later than the first anniversary of that date unless the records or files were released under Subsection (b).

(d-1) Not later than the 30th day before the date on which the clerk destroys files or other records under Subsection (d), the clerk shall provide notice by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission to the attorney representing the state in the expunction proceeding. If the attorney representing the state in the expunction proceeding objects to the destruction not later than the 20th day after receiving notice under this subsection, the clerk may not destroy the files or other records until the first anniversary of the date the order of expunction is issued or the first business day after that date.

(e) The clerk shall certify to the court the destruction of files or other records under Subsection (d) of this section.

(f)  On receipt of an order granting expunction to a person entitled to expunction under Article 55.01(d), each official, agency, or other governmental entity named in the order:

(1)  shall:

(A)  obliterate all portions of the record or file that identify the petitioner; and

(B)  substitute for all obliterated portions of the record or file any available information that identifies the person arrested; and

(2)  may not return the record or file or delete index references to the record or file.

(g)  Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, an official, agency, court, or other entity may retain receipts, invoices, vouchers, or similar records of financial transactions that arose from the expunction proceeding or prosecution of the underlying criminal cause in accordance with internal financial control procedures. An official, agency, court, or other entity that retains records under this subsection shall obliterate all portions of the record or the file that identify the person who is the subject of the expunction order.

Legal Effect of An Expunction

Art. 55.03.  EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION. When the order of expunction is final:

(1)  the release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited;

(2)  except as provided in Subdivision (3) of this article, the person arrested may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order; and

(3)  the person arrested or any other person, when questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records have been expunged, may state only that the matter in question has been expunged.

What if Someone Violates the Expungement and Does Not Destroy the Records?

Here is the Texas Law that states that if your case is not destroyed from existence as ordered when you expunge your record, then the person that failed to expunge can be charged with A CRIME, FOR WHICH THEY CAN SERVE 6 MONTHS IN JAIL

Art. 55.04. VIOLATION OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.

Sec. 1. A person who acquires knowledge of an arrest while an officer or employee of the state or of any agency or other entity of the state or any political subdivision of the state and who knows of an order expunging the records and files relating to that arrest commits an offense if he knowingly releases, disseminates, or otherwise uses the records or files.

Sec. 2. A person who knowingly fails to return or to obliterate identifying portions of a record or file ordered expunged under this chapter commits an offense.

Sec. 3. An offense under this article is a Class B misdemeanor.

Call a San Antonio Expunction Lawyer today at (210) 271-2800

 Here is a Cartoon Video With Some Quick Helpful Information Relating to Expunctions in San Antonio