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do i have to disclose a felony non conviction expungement under oath in a civil case?

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smutlydog

Member
Texas
I am being told I have to attend an auto accident deposition from an auto accident from 4 years ago? I thought it was settled but apparently not. I wasn't convicted of the crime.
 


Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Your lawyer will advise you what to do for the deposition. In general though you do need to answer all the questions the deposing attorney asks of you unless the question calls for an answer which is privileged, the answer would not in any way be relevant to the case, etc. Asking you about any criminal history you've had — arrests, prosecutions, and/or convictions — is generally fair game to ask in a deposition.
 

zddoodah

Active Member
I am being told
By whom?

I have to attend an auto accident deposition from an auto accident from 4 years ago?
Despite your use of a question mark, this sentence isn't a question. Nonetheless, did the person who told you that you have to attend the deposition explain why you have to attend. What was the nature of your involvement with the accident? I could make all sorts of assumptions and make up facts, but I don't like doing that, so it would be much better if you provided the actual facts.

I thought it was settled
Why did you think that?

I wasn't convicted of the crime.
What crime?
 

quincy

Senior Member
Texas
I am being told I have to attend an auto accident deposition from an auto accident from 4 years ago? I thought it was settled but apparently not. I wasn't convicted of the crime.
smutlydog, are you being deposed as a party to the civil action or as a witness?

Does the civil action have anything to do with an automobile accident involving your stolen vehicle?

Are you concerned that disclosure in a deposition of your 30+ year old felony drug offense might affect your employment? Are you still a Lyft/taxicab driver?

If you do not yet have an attorney, it would be smart for you to have one with you at the deposition. With your history, you will want to be honest but cautious when answering questions.

Here is a link to Texas Rules of Civil Procedure on depositions:
https://casetext.com/rule/texas-court-rules/texas-rules-of-civil-procedure/part-ii-rules-of-practice-in-district-and-county-courts/section-9-evidence-and-discovery/discovery/rule-199-depositions-upon-oral-examination
 
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smutlydog

Member
smutlydog, are you being deposed as a party to the civil action or as a witness?

Does the civil action have anything to do with an automobile accident involving your stolen vehicle?

Are you concerned that disclosure in a deposition of your 30+ year old felony drug offense might affect your employment? Are you still a Lyft/taxicab driver?

If you do not yet have an attorney, it would be smart for you to have one with you at the deposition. With your history, you will want to be honest but cautious when answering questions.

Here is a link to Texas Rules of Civil Procedure on depositions:
https://casetext.com/rule/texas-court-rules/texas-rules-of-civil-procedure/part-ii-rules-of-practice-in-district-and-county-courts/section-9-evidence-and-discovery/discovery/rule-199-depositions-upon-oral-examination
 

smutlydog

Member
I was the driver but no one got the ticket. They are saying it was my fault, and I am saying it's not. This was the first and only accident in my lifetime.
I have a drug conviction and a drug arrest expunged record. I am worried about the expunged record being exposed and yes being deactivated. thanks
 

quincy

Senior Member
I was the driver but no one got the ticket. They are saying it was my fault, and I am saying it's not. This was the first and only accident in my lifetime.
I have a drug conviction and a drug arrest expunged record. I am worried about the expunged record being exposed and yes being deactivated. thanks
Thanks for answering my questions, smutleydog.

First, Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury and car accident lawsuits. A lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident or it is time barred.

Was this lawsuit filed within that time period?

If the suit was filed in a timely fashion, and you are named as the defendant in a civil action where the plaintiff is seeking to recover (property or personal injury) damages as a result of the accident, and the plaintiff has scheduled a deposition prior to trial, you will want an attorney’s assistance.

How much is the plaintiff demanding? Did you report the accident to your insurer at the time? Did you report the accident and your insurance did not (according to the plaintiff) cover all of the damages claimed?

The bottom line is that you will want an attorney. You should tell your attorney that you want to avoid having your 30-year-old criminal record become an issue.
 

Litigator22

Active Member
. . . I have a drug conviction and a drug arrest expunged record. I am worried about the expunged record being exposed and yes being deactivated. thanks
Generally speaking (as there are some exceptions) an expungement is a form of post-arrest/conviction that releases a person from all penalties and disabilities otherwise resulting therefrom, including the use of such records as a means of impeaching the credibility of a witness.

Accordingly, if in the course of the deposition (or trial) should you be questioned regarding your criminal history you would be within your legal right to DENY any such occurrences wherein the related records and files have been expunged by order of expunction. *

For example should you be asked whether or not you have ever been convicted of a felony (and all files and records relating to the arrest and/or conviction has been expunged by order of expunction) you can safely reply with a simple "no".

Should the examiner persists in following that line of inquiry - no matter how the questions are framed - if the content relates to your involvement in a criminal proceeding the records thereof having been expunged, continue to answer in the negative. NOTING that you do not need to mention the order of expunction.
_____________________________

[*] Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art 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 (inapplicable here), the person arrested may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order;
(emphasis added)
 

quincy

Senior Member
One possible complication for smutlydog, based on his extensive posting history on this forum, this if the current action is not time-barred:

smutlydog, did you ever get the records sealed in the civil action that detailed your drug offenses? These records were not part of the expunction order.
 

smutlydog

Member
One possible complication for smutlydog, based on his extensive posting history on this forum, this if the current action is not time-barred:

smutlydog, did you ever get the records sealed in the civil action that detailed your drug offenses? These records were not part of the expunction order.
I was told that the civil part of the case was a separate more complex situation even though all records related to the case were supposed to be destroyed. So no I didn't get that sealed. Strangely I took another look at that file online recently and found that the details about the case were deleted. It just says something about the forfeiture and amount. No information about what led to the forfeiture. In Texas, you cant get a conviction expunged si I will be able to answer no about convictions.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I was told that the civil part of the case was a separate more complex situation even though all records related to the case were supposed to be destroyed. So no I didn't get that sealed. Strangely I took another look at that file online recently and found that the details about the case were deleted. It just says something about the forfeiture and amount. No information about what led to the forfeiture. In Texas, you cant get a conviction expunged si I will be able to answer no about convictions.
Okay. In that case, you will need to ask your attorney about the statute of limitations to see if the case against you can be dismissed on those grounds.

If not, then have your attorney with you during the deposition so he can assist you and object to any questions that you don’t have to answer.
 

Litigator22

Active Member
I was told that the civil part of the case was a separate more complex situation even though all records related to the case were supposed to be destroyed. So no I didn't get that sealed. Strangely I took another look at that file online recently and found that the details about the case were deleted. It just says something about the forfeiture and amount. No information about what led to the forfeiture. In Texas, you cant get a conviction expunged si [sic] I be able to answer no about convictions.
PLEASE NOTE:

It is immaterial whether or not the records in the civil action "detailing your drug offense" were sealed! Nothing can appear from those records that can in and by its self (per se) be used to impeach your credibility as a deponent/witness in the pending "accident" litigation. (In contrast a standing felony conviction is per se admissible evidence bearing upon an individual's credibility as a witness.)

Here the only content that could be gleaned from those civil records for impeachment purposes would be if they should reveal that you had made statements materially conflicting with those made under oath during the deposition.

So don't confuse the impact of a standing a felony conviction with that of an adverse civil verdict affecting the same individual. A good example would be that of O. J. Simpson's minor brushes with the law.

Even though in a civil wrongful death action a jury found O. J. responsible for the deaths of his estranged wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, that verdict could not be used for future impeachment purpose. However his 2008 Nevada convictions of the crimes of robbery and kidnapping could be used for such future purposes; that is, of course unless expunged.
 
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