Did you receive a POM at age 19? A DWI at age 21? Or is there some other small smudge on your criminal background record? If you have been successful on deferred adjudication probation, you may be able to control access to your criminal record through an Order for Non-Disclosure. Once sealed, you may legally and truthfully deny your criminal conviction.
An Order for Non-Disclosure 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. Although sealing the record prevents its release to the public, the record remains available to law enforcement and to certain state agencies—for instance, licensing agencies. Also, the information can still be used against you in criminal proceedings.
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 (assaultive 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:
Injury to children, elderly, or disabled individuals
Child abandonment or endangerment
What is the process?
Contact the Law Office of Russell Frost right now!
Once you hire us, we can file a Petition for Non-Disclosure with the court and request a hearing 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 through the process.
Will I be required to travel for a hearing?
Any hearing would most likely be held in the county in which you were charged. We will attend the hearing for you–no matter its location–and your presence would most likely not be required.
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.
Note that a criminal justice agency can 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 belie 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