In Texas, you can petition for an order of nondisclosure that will essentially seal a specific criminal offense and prevent courts and law enforcement agencies from releasing this information to the public. While an order of nondisclosure does not erase your criminal history, it frees you from having to disclose the offense when applying for a job, housing, or schooling. However, it’s important to note that there are many requirements that you must meet before you are able to petition for an order of nondisclosure. Many offenses simply do not qualify. If you’ve been placed on deferred adjudication for a felony offense that qualifies for an order of nondisclosure, you should discuss your options with an experienced criminal defense attorney and determine the best path forward.
Meeting the Basic Requirements
First, you’ll need to assess whether you meet the core eligibility criteria for obtaining an order of nondisclosure. You will not be eligible to pursue an order of nondisclosure if you’ve ever been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for the following:
- Any offense that requires you to register as a sex offender
- Any offense involving family violence or affirmative finding of family violence
- Specific ineligible offenses, such as: murder; capital murder; aggravated kidnapping; trafficking of persons; injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual; abandoning or endangering a child; stalking; and violations of court orders or conditions of a bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case
Remember, these restrictions apply to your entire criminal history. Even if you are pursuing an order of nondisclosure for a qualifying offense, having a different offense on your criminal history that does not meet these requirements disqualifies you from ever obtaining an order of nondisclosure in the future.
Additional Eligibility Requirements For Qualifying Felonies
Once you’ve determined that you’ve met the requirements discussed above, you must also ensure that you’ve observed the appropriate waiting period before proceeding with your nondisclosure petition. For qualifying felony offenses, there is typically a five-year waiting period you must honor after you are discharged from deferred probation and your case is dismissed before you may initiate the process for pursuing an order of nondisclosure. It’s essential that you are not convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for any other crime (excluding a fine-only traffic ticket) during this waiting period, or you will become ineligible.
Here to Help
Wondering if you qualify for an order of nondisclosure in the Pearland area? Contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney today.