Clearing Your Record
Whenever someone is arrested for any offense in Texas, records of the arrest and the charge begin to accumulate immediately. The officer files a report with his agency. The jail where you were taken has a record. The case report and evidence will be sent to the district attorney who then has records. Once formal charges are filed, the county or district clerk will have records. Finally, much of the information associated with the charge is sent to DPS where it is maintained in a criminal records index. This index is what we commonly refer to as someone’s “criminal record.” When someone like a police officer checks a person’s “criminal history,” what he is checking is the information on file with DPS about that person. Naturally, someone with a lot of prior convictions could have offenses from various counties in Texas maintained by DPS in his criminal history. That index maintained by DPS is also reported to the FBI. The same index is what is used by private companies such as PublicData.com, so when a private employer does a criminal background check, he is typically getting the data from a company like PublicData.com that has, in turn, gotten it from DPS. Some counties such as Collin County are also independently reporting information to companies like PublicData.com, meaning that information about a charge could appear even if it’s not in the person’s criminal history maintained by DPS.