Medlin Law Firm - August 2021


When you’re sitting in your doctor’s office feeling unwell — your pain compounded by anxiety from researching your symptoms — it’s easy to assume the worst. You may be worried about whether your insurance will cover necessary medications or procedures and wonder if there are any good options that will actually help. These worries are normal and under- standable, but there’s a rather simple way to ease your mind. To feel empowered to make the right health care decisions for yourself or your loved ones, you need to gather information, and that starts with asking good questions. What are the benefits and the risks? To make an educated decision about your health care, you need to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of treatment options your practitioner presents. Since you want

to get better, it’s easy to remember to ask how suggested procedures or medications will help. But don’t forget to ask about the downsides, risks, or potential complications. Pro tip: To humanize the situation and help you understand how to think through a given decision, ask your provider: “What would you tell your family member about the benefits and risks of this procedure if they were considering it?” Are there alternatives to consider? Sometimes, the most common treatment isn’t necessarily the best one for you. If you’re hesitant to take a new medication because of the side effects, for example, ask about alternative medications or therapies. Be prepared that some alternative treatment options may require a greater commitment to lifestyle changes to see results.

Follow-up question: Asking “Why do you recommend this procedure/medication over the other options?” will help you under- stand the factors your doctor has considered when making their recommendation to you. What results can I expect, and how long will it take? This is an often-overlooked question. Say you tell your doctor you have back pain, and they recommend physical therapy. You may be expecting to be pain-free ASAP, while they may think that a successful treatment will yield increased mobility and reduced pain over the course of a few months. It’s important to be on the same page about what to expect and how long it will take to see improvements. A healthy dose of curiosity may be all you need to get more from your health care and feel confident in your decisions.

What Is Expunction? Expunction is basically the deletion of a criminal record. If someone’s criminal record is eligible for expunction, and their request to have it expunged is approved, then for most intents and purposes, they now have a clean record when speaking to employers, educational services, or anyone else who asks. • •

A Legal Definition, What Records Qualify, and More

However, certain offenses will NOT qualify for expunction. These may include:

Violent felonies like murder Driving while intoxicated

Sex-related crimes like prostitution

Found in Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, expunction can be a confusing process. Importantly, not all records are eligible for expunction. Some common examples of charges and convictions that may be eligible for expunction include: • Certain alcohol-related offenses that occurred while the defendant was a minor • Certain misdemeanors that are not disqualified • Convictions that were later overturned by a Court of Appeals • Charges that resulted in the successful completion of a diversion program • Charges that resulted in a verdict of not guilty • Charges that have been dismissed Each of these has important qualifying factors that must be met in order for expunction to be an option. An expunction lawyer in Fort Worth could further explain the law as it might apply to an individual’s criminal record and circumstances.

• Charges for which the offending person is still completing a diversion program or other probationary requirement

This is not an exhaustive list, and a Fort Worth expunction lawyer can help explore whether a criminal record is eligible for expunction or other alternatives.

Whether you think you qualify for an expunction or not, the best way to get started is to retrieve your criminal history from the Department of Public Safety to see what’s in it. Then, give us a call so we can consult you on the best next step. | Pg. 2

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