Texas Nondisclosure Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Sealing Your Criminal Record
Orders of Nondisclosure in Texas: The Complete Guide to Sealing Your Criminal Record
What is an Order of Nondisclosure?
In Texas, an Order of Nondisclosure is a legal process through which everyday Texans can seal charges from their criminal records. When an order of nondisclosure is issued, the court signs an order that prohibits public entities such as courts and law enforcement agencies from disclosing the certain criminal records.
Benefits of a Texas Order of Nondisclosure
– Get the arrest and conviction sealed from your record.
– Legally deny that you have been charged or convicted of the crime.
* You may tell current and potential employers that you do NOT have a criminal record.
* You may become eligible for professional licenses and certificates.
* You may have an easier time getting approval by apartments who conduction background checks on renters.
* You may get better access to loans or lower rates.
– Avoid the fear of embarrassment when someone performs a background check on you.
Who is Eligible for Nondisclosure in Texas?
Texas nondisclosure law (Texas Gov’t Code Sec. 411.0715) provides for very stringent requirements to apply for an be granted an order of nondisclosure. The basic policy principle is highlighted below:
Texas Law allows for deserving people to have a second chance. If you were charged for an offense and completed deferred adjudication or another form of probation, you may be entitled to seal the record of that offense in the State’s records. Legal relief may be available even if you were found guilty and completed a jail or probation sentence.
Although this policy is based on fairness, entitlement to an order of nondisclosure is governed purely by the Texas nondisclosure statute cited in the first paragraph of this article. Below we will give a general breakdown of the basic requirements for nondisclosure in Texas
Qualifying for an Order of Nondisclosure
#1: You Meet the Two Base Requirements
1.1. You were not convicted or placed on deferred for any offense (other than a fine-only traffic violation) at any time after your sentence was pronounced and during any applicable waiting period.
1.2. You have never been convicted or received deferred (including for offense seeking nondisclosure) for:
Any offense requiring registration as a sex offender under CCP Ch. 62
– Penal Code §§19.02 (murder), 19.03 (capital murder), 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping), 20A.02 (trafficking of persons), 20A.03 (continuous trafficking of persons), 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly, or disabled), 22.041 (abandoning or endangering a child), 25.07 (violations of bond in family violence cases), 25.072 (repeated violations of bond in family violence cases), 42.072 (stalking), or
– Any offense involving family violence or with affirmative finding of family violence
#2: You Must Fit Into One of The Following Six Categories
Category 1 of 6: Certain Misdemeanor Deferred Adjudications (§411.072 – “automatic nondisclosures”)
3.1. You were placed on deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor other than restricted misdemeanors
Restricted misdemeanors include any misdemeanors under Penal Code Ch. 20 (kidnapping & unlawful restraint), 21 (indecent exposure & unlawful photography), 22 (assault, deadly conduct, terroristic threat), 25 (bigamy, enticing a child, criminal nonsupport, violation of protective order), 42 (disorderly conduct, harassment, animal cruelty), 43 (prostitution, sexting), 46 (unlawful carrying of a weapon, prohibited weapons), or 71 (engaging in organized criminal activity)
3.2. You did not receive affirmative finding under Art. 42A.105(f) (not eligible for automatic nondisclosure)
3.3. Was not previously convicted of or placed or deferred adjudication for any offense other than a fine-only traffic violation
3.4. Received discharge & dismissal of deferred
3.5. Is at least 180 days after placed on deferred
Category 2 of 6: Certain Misdemeanor Deferred Adjudications (§411.072 – Non-DWI Deferred Adjudications)
1. You were placed on deferred adjudication for any felony or any misdemeanor not included in automatic nondisclosures, other than driving or boating while intoxicated.
2. You received a discharge & dismissal of deferred adjudication.
3. Issuance of the order of nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.
4. Any applicable waiting period has passed (from issuance of discharge & dismissal):
– 5 years for all felonies
– 2 years for restricted misdemeanors
– Immediately for all other misdemeanors
Category 3 of 6: First-Time Misdemeanor Convictions (§§411.073 & 411.0735)
1. You were convicted and placed on community supervision for any misdemeanor other than:
– Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106 (possession of or selling alcohol to minors), or
– Penal Code §§49.04 (DWI), 49.05 (flying while intoxicated), 49.06 (boating while intoxicated), 49.065 (operating amusement ride while intoxicated), and Ch. 71 (engaging in organized criminal activity)
– Any offense that is “violent or sexual in nature” (non-community supervision cases only)
2. You were discharged and dismissed from community supervision or completed sentence.
3. You have not been previously convicted of or placed or deferred adjudication for any offense other than a fine-only traffic violation
4. Issuance of the order of nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.
5. Any applicable waiting period has passed:
– Community supervision: 2 years from issuance of discharge & dismissal for restricted misdemeanors or immediately from D&D for all other misdemeanors
– Fine-only misdemeanor conviction: Immediately upon completion of sentence
– Other misdemeanor convictions: 2 years from completion of sentence
Category 4 of 6: DWI Cases (§§411.0726, 411.0731, & 411.0736)
1. You were convicted of any offense under Penal Code §49.04 (Driving While Intoxicated), except for §49.04(d): BAC >0.15, or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense under §49.04 or 49.06 (boating while intoxicated).
2. You successfully completed sentence, including paying all fines and costs.
3. You have not previously convicted of or placed or deferred adjudication for any offense other than a fine-only traffic violation
4. Issuance of an order of nondisclosure for your DWI conviction is in the best interest of justice
(For deferred adjudication cases, did not receive affirmative finding under CCP Article 42A.105(f))
5. The State of Texas has not proven at a hearing that the DWI involved aggravating circumstances such as a car accident involving a passenger or a third party.
6. The applicable waiting period has passed:
Deferred adjudication: 2 years from completion of sentence
Community supervision, if petitioner successfully complied with a probation condition that required an ignition interlock device for at least six months: 2 years
Jail sentence, if petitioner complied with a condition of sentence requiring an ignition interlock for at least six months: 3 years
Community supervision or jail, if no interlock: 5 years
Category 5 of 6: Veterans Programs (§§411.0727 & 411.0729)
1. You have successfully completed a veterans’ treatment court program under Gov’t Code Ch. 124 (or former law).
2. Your participation in the veteran’s program was not due to a DWI conviction. (DWI’s may still be eligible for nondisclosure under another section.)
3. You have never been previously convicted of an offense listed in CCP Art. 42A.054 or a sexually violent offense (CCP Art. 62.001)
4. The Court determines that issuance of a Texas Order of Nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice, and;
5. The 2-year waiting period has passed (from successful completion of program)
a. You successfully completed a Veterans Reemployment Program program under CCP Chapter 42A, Subchapter H-1.
b. Successfully completed all other conditions of your community supervision.
c. The Court determines that issuance of a Texas Order of Nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice, and;
* Note: There is no waiting period for this nondisclosure, and the petitioner does NOT need to complete the “Base Requirements.”
Category 6 of 6: Marijuana Possession, Theft, and Victims of Human Trafficking (§411.0728)
1. You were convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for an offense under Penal Code §§31.03(e)(1) or (2) (Class C or B theft), 43.02 (prostitution), or Health & Safety Code §§481.120(b)(1) (Class B delivery of marijuana) or 481.121(b)(1) (Class B possession of marijuana)
2. You successfully completed the court-imposed sentence.
3. You were requested by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor to provide assistance into the investigation or prosecution of a Texas or federal human trafficking or compelling prostitution case.
4. You provided assistance or were unable to assist due to age or a physical or mental disability resulting from being a victim of human trafficking or compelling prostitution.
5. You committed the offense solely as a victim of human trafficking or compelling prostitution.
6. A Texas Court finds that issuance of an order of nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.
7. The waiting period is satisfied: 1 year from completion of sentence or discharge & dismissal from supervision
8. You have not commit any other offenses under PC §§31.03(e)(1) or (2), 43.02, or HSC §§481.120(b)(1) or 481.121(b)(1) from the filing of the first petition under this section.
Texas Nondisclosure FAQ
What is the difference between expunction and nondisclosure in Texas?
Both legal procedures are similar in that, they help clear your record after you have been charged with a crime. However, only an order of nondisclosure can seal your record after a conviction or deferred adjudication. Expunction is usually only available for cases that were dismissed for certain reasons such as completion of pretrial diversion or if a judge or jury found the accused not guilty.
Does deferred adjudication count as a conviction in Texas?
If you plead guilty or no contest and the court grants deferred adjudication, you have a chance to avoid a conviction. If you successfully complete the deferred adjudication and the court dismisses your case, then you will avoided having the conviction on your criminal record.
However, the original arrest record and sentence of deferred adjudication will stay on your criminal history even though the case was ultimately dismissed. To “seal” your record and legally deny the arrest, you must be granted an order of nondisclosure. See our Texas deferred adjudication guide for more information.
Do I have to disclose a deferred adjudication?
This depends on the question.
If you are asked if you “Have been convicted of a crime?”, you can answer “No” regarding the charge that was dismissed. After successfully completing deferred adjudication, you do not have a conviction on your record.
If you are asked if you “Have been charged of a crime?”, the correct answer is “Yes.” Deferred adjudication prevents you from being convicted, but it does not remove the charge from your record.
To legally answer “No” to both questions, you must be granted an order of nondisclosure.
What offenses are not eligible for Texas nondisclosure?
– Aggravated kidnapping
– Offenses requiring registration as a sex offender
– Capital murder
– Injury to a child, elderly, or disabled individual
– Child abandonment or endangerment
– Cases involving family violence
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