Waco Expunction & Class C Ticket Clinic

On April 23rd, 2022, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is partnering with the Texas Fair Defense Project (TFDP), University of Texas Law Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program, Lone Star Legal Aid, the United Food & Commercial Workers Internal Union (UFCW), and UFCW 540 to host a Record Clearing and Class C Ticket Clinic in Waco, Texas to assist the local community with expunction and nondisclosure services, and Class C misdemeanor cases.  

Eligibility Information Volunteer as an Attorney Register for Assistance with Record Clearing

The Issues

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the right to counsel in any proceeding that could result in incarceration. Currently, this excludes Class C misdemeanors which are categorized as “fine only offenses.” However, for many low-income individuals who are unable to pay or who miss court to contest the offenses, the threat of incarceration and/or a suspended license arises without the benefit of court-appointed counsel. For more information about the impact of jailing Texans for fines and fees, check out the joint publication between the Texas Fair Defense Project and Texas Appleseed, “Pay or Stay: The High Cost of Jailing Texans for Fines and Fees.”

Nor does Texas law provide for the right to counsel in criminal record clearing cases (expunctions and nondisclosures). Individuals with criminal records face barriers to housing, employment, public assistance, educational opportunities, and more. Although available under the law, record clearing services remain inaccessible to low-income Texans. The process to clear criminal records is complex, generally requiring the assistance of an attorney to help determine eligibility for relief and to navigate the process to obtain relief.

Expunction Eligibility Information 

View Waco Expunction Eligibility Powerpoint

View Waco Expunction & Class C Ticket Clinic Flier

How do I register to receive help at the Waco Expunction and Class C Ticket Clinic?

STEP 1 (Only if seeking record clearing services)
Obtain your DPS Criminal HistoryReport ($25.53):

Fill out this survey to claim your spot by March 1, 2022:

Continue reading below

Attend the Waco Expunction Expo on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 9am CT
Invitation with event location details will be sent to qualifying applicants via email.

Volunteer Attorney Opportunities & Expectations

We welcome attorneys interested in volunteering for our clinic in Waco to assist with expunction and record clearing services and Class C ticket help. No experience is necessary; TFDP will provide training for volunteers. We need both volunteers in advance of the clinic (for two asynchronous opportunities in March 2022) and for the day of the clinic (April 23, 2022).

Volunteer Attorneys Needed to Help Prescreen Applicants for Record Clearing Services March 7-12, 2022 (Asynchronous Opportunity)

Register for Zoom Training on Monday, March 7th 9:30am

Continue reading below

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Prior to the clinic, interested individuals will pre-register online. Participants will be asked to complete an intake survey and, if seeking record clearing services, provide a copy of their DPS criminal history report. TFDP will train volunteers on how to read a DPS Criminal History Report and determine eligibility for criminal record clearing in Texas using an eligibility checklist and records available online. Volunteers will then review participants’ criminal history reports and provide an assessment of record clearing eligibility under Texas law.

Volunteer Attorneys Needed to Help Draft Record Clearing Petitions March 14-18, 2022 (Asynchronous Opportunity)

Register for Zoom Training on Monday, April 18th 12:00pm

Also prior to the clinic, volunteers will draft expunction and nondisclosure petitions for eligible records. TFDP will train volunteers on how to draft petitions and will provide volunteers with petition templates.

Volunteer Attorneys Needed for Day of Clinic, April 23, 2022

Register for Zoom Training on Monday, March 14th 9:30am

Participants who have been pre-screened and appear to be eligible will then be invited to attend the clinic on April 23, 2022. At the clinic, participants will meet with volunteers, who will assist them with the following:

  • For Record Clearing Services:

    • Volunteers will assist participants in completing a statement of inability to afford court costs;

    • Volunteers will go over completed record clearing petitions with participants; and

    • Volunteers will explain to participants the steps participants will need to take to file their petitions and obtain record clearing relief.  

  • For Class C Ticket Services:

    • Volunteers will assist applicants in completing a statement of inability to afford court costs;

    • Volunteers will draft letters to JP and/or Municipal courts to request appropriate relief for unpaid legal debt (for post-conviction cases) or to request a pretrial hearing date (for pretrial cases);

    • If applicable, volunteers will explain the steps participants will need to take to lift holds on their Texas drivers’ licenses. 

Sign Up / Contact Us

To volunteer for any of these opportunities, register for the corresponding training using the links above. Note that the live trainings will be recorded and sent out to all Zoom registrants following the live training so that volunteers can watch the trainings asynchronously. Volunteer for one, two, or all three opportunities as you are able.

Important Note About Safety Precautions

At this time, we are hoping to host an in-person clinic on April 23, 2022, but we will continue to monitor local Covid transmission levels and public health guidance as we get closer to the clinic date. By March 1, 2022, clinic organizers will determine whether the event will remain as an in-person event or transition the event to a hybrid-virtual format.