Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
D. J. H., Appellant
Hays County District Attorney and Texas Department of Public Safety, Appellees
THE DISTRICT COURT OF HAYS COUNTY, 207TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
NO. 16-1798, HONORABLE WILLIAM R. HENRY, JUDGE PRESIDING
Chief Justice Rose, Justices Pemberton and Goodwin
appeals from an order of the district court denying his
petition to expunge records related to his 2012 arrest and
subsequent indictment for the felony charge of burglary of a
habitation. Finding no reversible error, we will
affirm the order.
sought expunction of the burglary charge based on Article
55.01(a)(2) (A)(ii)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
which entitles "[a] person who has been placed under . .
. arrest for commission of either a felony or
misdemeanor" to have "all records and filed
relating to the arrest expunged if, " as relevant here:
(1) "the person has been released";
(2) "the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final
conviction and is no longer pending and there was no
court-ordered supervision under Chapter 42A for the
(3) if a charging instrument was presented at any time
following the arrest, it was "dismissed or
(4) "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."
. . . is not a constitutional or common-law right, but purely
a statutory privilege, " and D.J.H. thus bore "the
burden of demonstrating that each of the[se] required
conditions has been met." Further, because the allegations
in D.J.H.'s verified petition were joined through general
denial by both the prosecutor (the Office of the Hays County
Criminal District Attorney (the State)) and the Texas
Department of Public Safety, with the former also appearing
in opposition at the hearing on the petition,  D.J.H. was
required to present evidence, not "just allegations in
[a] verified pleading, " in order "to carry [his]
burden of proof."
appeal, we review the district court's order denying
expunction under an overarching abuse-of-discretion
standard. With respect to the district court's
determination of whether D.J.H. had met his evidentiary
burden as to statutory requirements, this standard
effectively reduces to whether D.J.H. has presented evidence
establishing those requirements conclusively."Evidence is
conclusive only if reasonable people could not differ in
their conclusions." We view the evidence in the light
favorable to the district court's order, crediting
favorable evidence if a reasonable fact-finder could, and
disregarding contrary evidence unless a reasonable
fact-finder could not.
sole evidence D.J.H. presented at the expunction hearing
consisted of what both sides acknowledge to be two court
records from the criminal proceedings that had followed
D.J.H.'s indictment for burglary of a habitation. The
first document is a "Motion to Dismiss" signed by a
representative of the State and filed on November 14, 2013.
It states the following reason or ground for dismissing the
defendant has entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement
for Burglary of a Habitation, Lesser included Criminal
Trespass for 2 (Two) Years. Agreement on file. Dismissal
conditioned on completion of agreement.
bottom of the same document is a preprinted "Order"
that was signed by a presiding district judge on the same
day. It reflects merely that the "foregoing motion"
had been ...