Criminal Defense Practice Areas:

Order of Non-Disclosure

 

order of non-disclosure

Have you ever filled out a job application, or an application for an apartment, or an application for a professional license and worried about what a person might discover if they did a background check on you? Have you ever been denied a job you wanted, or an apartment you tried to rent because of a possession of marijuana case or DWI you received when you were younger? Is there some other small infraction in your past that keeps haunting you and preventing you from moving forward with your life that you wish you could just make go away? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may want to see if you qualify for an Order of Non-Disclosure.


 

ORDER OF NON-DISCLOSURE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS AN ORDER OF NON-DISCLOSURE?

Section 411.081 of the Texas Government Code provides that if you have been placed on community supervision (what most people refer to as probation) under the deferred adjudication provisions, and your deferred adjudication was successfully completed and the case was dismissed, you may petition the Court to have your criminal records sealed from public disclosure. Once sealed, you will be able to honestly say that you have not been arrested, placed on deferred adjudication, or convicted.

HOW WOULD AN ORDER OF NON-DISCLOSURE BENEFIT ME?

If the Court Signs an Order of Non-Disclosure in your case, you will be able to tell potential employers that you have not been arrested or convicted of the offense listed in the Order. It can make you eligible for more favorable consideration with respect to student loans, government housing assistance, and applications for professional licenses and/or certificates. And you can avoid the fear of embarrassment when someone does a background check on you.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN ORDER OF NON-DISCLOSURE IN TEXAS?

To be eligible to petition the Court for an Order of Non-Disclosure, you must first be able to satisfy the following minimum requirements:
 

  • You entered a plea of guilty or no contest in your case; AND
  • You were placed on community supervision where the court did not enter a finding of guilt (deferred adjudication probation); AND
  • You successfully completed and have been discharged from your deferred adjudication probation; AND
  • The case against you has been dismissed; AND
  • The required waiting period, if any, has passed.

 

IS THERE A WAITING PERIOD BEFORE I CAN PETITION THE COURT?

Assuming that you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, there is no waiting period for most misdemeanors. You may petition the court for an order of nondisclosure as soon as you have successfully completed your deferred adjudication probation and the case against you has been dismissed.

There is a two year waiting period for the following misdemeanors:

Unlawful restraint
Public lewdness
Indecent exposure
Misdemeanor Assault offenses
Interference with child custody
Harboring a runaway child
Violations of family violence court orders
Disorderly conduct and related offenses
Misdemeanor weapons offenses

There is a five year waiting period for all felonies.

ARE THERE CASES THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR AN ORDER OF NON-DISCLOSURE?

Regardless of whether or not you received deferred adjudication, you are not eligible to petition the court for an order of non-disclosure if your case is any of the following:
 

  • An offense requiring registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;
  • Murder; Capital Murder; Aggravated Kidnapping; Abandoning or Endangering a Child;
  • Violations of Certain Court Orders or Conditions of Bond in Cases Involving Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Abuse or Stalking.

 

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE A FRESH START AND GET ON WITH MY LIFE?

If you are able to meet the eligibility requirements outlined above, you can get started. First, a petition must be filed in the Court where you successfully completed your deferred adjudication. The petition will outline for the Court the facts necessary to show why you are eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure. And that is when the real work starts. In addition to showing the Court that you are eligible, you must convince the Court that it is the best interest of justice to grant your request for the Order. This is when your choice of lawyer becomes critical to your chances of success. Hopefully you will have chosen a lawyer who is knowledgeable as to what factors are considered by the Court in making its decision, and enjoys a reputation for integrity and competence that is appreciated by the Court.

The lawyers at Daniel & Hudson have over forty years of combined experience in various courts throughout Texas, where their reputation for integrity competence is unparalleled. They have successfully filed petitions on behalf of their clients seeking an Order of Non-Disclosure in many cases and have helped many of them put a minor misstep behind them and get a fresh start in life. If this sounds like something you want to do, we hope you will give us a call at Daniel & Hudson and let us get to work for you.

For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at 210-222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.