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What Are Orders Of Nondisclosure?

A recently passed Texas law helps individuals have the record of his or her arrest, charge and probation “sealed” after successful completion of a deferred adjudication probation through a petition for order of nondisclosure. It even allows the individual to deny that the arrest and charge ever occurred.

Avoid The Harm Of Online Record Searches

With the proliferation of online criminal background searches, a nondisclosure order can save your job, even when you are not eligible to fully expunge your criminal records.

At the law office of J. Michael Price II in Dallas, Texas, Mike can help you set the record straight. Through an order of nondisclosure, we work to help you clear your record and restore your name. Call our office at 214-765-8000 to find out how our attorney can help clean up your record.

Deferred Adjudication And Your Criminal Record

The discovery of criminal records during a background check of your name can negatively impact your ability to get hired, attend school, lease a home, or obtain a home or auto loan. If you ever had police contact — regardless of the outcome — you may have a criminal record and not even know it.

Completion of deferred adjudication probation, even if the court subsequently dismissed the charge, will not automatically eliminate the charge from your criminal record. The first step toward protecting your name is knowing what is on your record.

Successful completion of a deferred adjudication probation may qualify you for an order of nondisclosure. This order prevents government agencies from publicly disclosing criminal history information resulting from an offense. The particular criminal offense will determine whether a person is entitled to an order of nondisclosure and, if so, when such an order can be obtained.

Orders Of Nondisclosure And Categories Of Offenses In Texas

For most misdemeanors, a person may file a petition for an order of nondisclosure immediately after discharge from probation and dismissal of the offense. However, some misdemeanors require a defendant to wait two years from the date of the discharge and dismissal of the misdemeanor offense.

During this two-year period, the applicant must not have received anything more than a citation for a fine-only traffic offense. Those offenses include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Terroristic threat
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Unlawful carrying of a firearm
  • Stalking
  • Bigamy

For most felony offenses, the applicant must wait five years from the date of the discharge and dismissal of the felony offense.

Even if a defendant has successfully completed a deferred adjudication probation, he or she is not eligible for an order of nondisclosure if he or she has ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for certain offenses, including murder and aggravated kidnapping, if he or she is a registered sex offender, or if he or she has violated a protective order.

Benefits Of An Order Of Nondisclosure

In addition to other benefits, someone who receives an order of nondisclosure in Texas may deny having been arrested or prosecuted for the offense, except in a subsequent criminal proceeding. An order of nondisclosure does not, however, require the government to destroy the information. It may be released to criminal justice agencies, noncriminal justice agencies authorized by statute or executive order and to the subject of the criminal history information.

Private companies that compile and sell criminal history information may not report offenses for which a court issued an order of nondisclosure. Doing so can result in a civil penalty — not to exceed $500 — for each violation.

Schedule A No-Cost Consultation Today

Recognized by organizations that include Martindale-Hubbell® and named in Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters service, from 2005-2018, as published in Texas Monthly Magazine, attorney J. Michael Price II has the experience and knowledge to help you. Call our Dallas office at 214-765-8000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.