If you have been successful on deferred adjudication probation, you may be able to control access to your record through an Order for Non-Disclosure. To qualify to have your case sealed under an order of non-disclosure, you must have been given deferred adjudication (community service) and successfully completed that probation period.
Once you have completed deferred adjudication community supervision under CCP art. 42.12 and the statutory waiting period for your offense has passed you may be eligible to have your records sealed by petitioning the court for non-disclosure of your criminal records pursuant (Government Codes 411.081(d)-(h)).
Once sealed, you may then legally and truthfully deny your criminal conviction. This order prohibits the government from disclosing your criminal conviction to the public and prevents a private entity that compiles and disseminates for compensation criminal record information from compiling or disseminating information that is covered by the order of non-disclosure. The state will be allowed to disclose information about the case to other criminal justice agencies for criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes or any agency or entity listed in Section 411.081(i).
However, sealing a record is not the same as expunging a record. Sealing prevents the release of your record to the public; however, the record will stay available to the law enforcement community and to certain state agencies such as most state licensing agencies. In any subsequent criminal proceeding, the information can still be used against you.What is an Order of Non-Disclosure?
An Order of Non-Disclosure is an order from the court effectively sealing your record from the public. It allows an individual to deny arrest or prosecution for which public information exists unless they are being prosecuted for a subsequent offense.
Benefits of a Texas an Order of Non-Disclosure:
- Tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime
- Become eligible for student loans
- Become eligible for housing assistance
- Become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates
- Tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime
- No more fear or embarrassment when someone does a background check
Who is eligible?
You may qualify for an Order of Non-Disclosure if you satisfy the following requirements:
- You entered a plea of guilty or no contest; AND
- The judge deferred further proceedings against you and placed you on community supervision (probation) without a finding of guilt; AND
- You have been successfully discharged from community supervision; AND
- The case against you has been dismissed; AND
- You meet waiting period after completing your sentence:
- No waiting period for most misdemeanors
- 5-year waiting period for misdemeanors under Chapters 20 (kidnapping, unlawful restraint), 21(sexual offenses), 22 (assualtive offenses), 25 (offenses against the family), 42 (disorderly related offenses), and 46 (weapons offenses) of the Penal Code
- 5-year waiting period for all felonies.
Who is not eligible?
The following offenses are not eligible:
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Sex Offender
- Capital Murder
- Injury to children, elderly, or disabled individuals
- Child abandonment or endangerment
- Family Violence
What is the process?
Contact The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm today! - Once you hire us, we can file a Petition for Non-Disclosure with the court and a request a hearing to be held to determine if an Order of Non-Disclosure can be granted in your case. We will prepare all of the documents for you and deliver them ready to be signed, notarized and filed with the courts. We will attend the hearing and guide you thru the process.
What happens if the court grants it?
Many Texas agencies are forbidden from disclosing the information to the public. The records are eventually sealed by DPS.
After an Order of Non-Disclosure is granted, entities such as PublicData.com or other background check sites can be fined for releasing the information.
Please be aware that a criminal justice agency can still disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an Order of Non-Disclosure to the non-criminal justice agencies or entities Section 411.081(i) of the government code.
A criminal justice agency may still disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure to the following non-criminal justice agencies or entities only:
- State Board for Education Certification
- School district, charter school, private school, commercial transportation company, or education
- shared service arrangement
- Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
- Texas School of the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Board of Law Examiners
- State Bar of Texas
- District Court regarding a petition for name change
- Texas School for the Deaf
- Department of Family and Protective Services
- Texas Youth Commission
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
- Department of State Health Services
- Texas Private Security Board
- Municipal of Volunteer Fire Department
- Board of Nurse Examiners
- Safe house providing shelter to children
- Public or Nonprofit Hospital
- Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
- Securities Commissioner, banking commissioner, savings and loan commissioner, or the credit
- union commissioner
- Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
- Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
- Health and Human Services Commission; and
- Department of Aging and Disability Services
The court's order will be sent to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety will then send the order to all law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state, and to all central federal depositories of criminal records that there is reason to believe have criminal history record information that is the subject of the order.
Those entities are obliged not to disclose the deferred adjudication record information to anyone other than:
- Other criminal justice agencies
- For criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes
- An agency or entity listed in Section 411.081(i)
- The person who is the subject of the order