Under Texas state law, some people may be eligible to pursue an order of nondisclosure that prevents public entities, such as courts and law enforcement agencies, from disclosing or sharing certain information about their criminal records. While the information will still remain on your criminal record, you will no longer be required to disclose such information when filling out a job or housing application. However, it’s important to note that there are multiple criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for an order of nondisclosure. We’ll take a look at some general eligibility requirements and then focus on how veterans programs may help you qualify for an order of nondisclosure, provided all of the criteria are met.
Underlying Eligibility Requirements
In order to determine whether you will qualify for an order of nondisclosure in Texas, you’ll first need to satisfy some basic requirements. Remember, an order of nondisclosure only applies to one specific offense—not to your entire criminal record. Since the sentence for the offense in question was pronounced, and during the applicable waiting period, you must have not faced additional convictions or been placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense (excluding a fine-only traffic violation. Additionally, you must have never been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication—at any time—for the following: Offenses that require you to register as a sex offender; major crimes, such as murder, capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, trafficking of persons, continuous trafficking of persons, injury to a child, elderly or disabled person, abandoning or endangering a child, violations of bond in family violence cases, repeated violations of bond in family violence cases, stalking; or any offense with an affirmative finding of family violence.
Orders of Nondisclosure and Veterans Programs
In addition to meeting the above requirements, you may be eligible to petition for an order of nondisclosure if you also fulfill the following requirements:
- You’ve successfully completed a veterans treatment court program
- You’ve participated in a program for a reason other than an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated
- You’ve never been previously convicted of certain offenses listed under CCP Art. 42A.054 or any offense that is sexually violent in nature
- It’s determined that the issuance of an order of nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice
- Two years have passed since the successful completion of the program
Alternatively, you may be able to pursue an order of nondisclosure if you successfully complete the Veterans Reemployment Program, successfully complete any and all other conditions of community supervision, and if the court determines that issuing an order of nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.
If you believe that you may qualify for an order of nondisclosure in Texas, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you determine whether you are eligible. The process of determining eligibility can quickly become complex, so it’s helpful to seek the guidance of a legal professional to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary steps.
Ready to find out more about the process of obtaining an order of nondisclosure in the Missouri City or Pearland area? Call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 today to arrange a free consultation with a trusted and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.