If you are like most people, then you have probably made some mistakes in your life. Sometimes those mistakes result in a criminal charge. But once you have faced your mistake and paid the price, you deserve to be able to move on with your life without it constantly affecting your future. That is why Texas law allows for the records for certain crimes to be sealed and hidden from the public. A “nondisclosure” is a legal way to seal the information regarding your arrest and charges. Here’s more on what Texas nondisclosure laws mean for you and how retaining a skilled nondisclosure attorney can help you get the job done right.

Fort Worth Texas Nondisclosure Attorney

The following guide on nondisclosures is brought to you by the skilled Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers at The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC. With our depth of experience in helping clients obtain nondisclosures and expunctions in the Tarrant County area, we understand the importance of protecting your reputation. We are here for you and are ready to handle this process on your behalf. To learn more about nondisclosures, read this guide and reach out to The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC today by calling (817) 826-9885 or contacting us online.

What Is A Nondisclosure?

A “nondisclosure” seals information regarding arrests and charges. You can think of nondisclosures as a path toward a second chance because it allows only police and similar governmental agencies access to your arrest records. As a result, a basic background check will not pull up information for the arrest. That information will remain sealed.

Still, just because you may be eligible for nondisclosure does not mean that you will receive one. It is also essential to understand that an Order of Nondisclosure applies only to the specific offenses you named. It will not seal your entire criminal history. Additionally, there are many reasons why the court may deny your petition for nondisclosure. You may have to convince the judge that they should grant the order.

Reasons To Apply For A Nondisclosure Order

None of us are perfect, and many believe that people are entitled to second chances in life. A nondisclosure may offer you that second chance if you qualify for it. It can also allow you to put behind a lapse in judgment or a tough time in your life. Nondisclosures may offer you the chance to start over with a clean slate after you have successfully paid the cost for your mistake. Here are a few reasons why you should apply for one:

Obtaining Or Keeping A Job

It is common knowledge that employers investigate the background of job applicants. Almost every job does it, and sometimes your background means the difference between landing the job and being passed over. Similarly, some employers run periodic background checks on their current employees. If something in your background could prevent you from finding or maintaining employment, then a nondisclosure can keep an employer from seeing it.

Getting Loans

Banks and other financial institutions use all sorts of information to decide if they will loan you money. When you apply for a loan, the bank may ask you to provide your criminal history. A lender would not request this information if it did not go into their decision-making process. Successfully getting an Order of Nondisclosure can not only prevent financial institutions from seeing your criminal history, but it may also allow you to legally answer no when asked on the application about those offenses.

Housing

If you want to rent a house or apartment, you will likely have to fill out a rental application. During this process, the landlord may ask about your criminal history. A private landlord may be able to reject your rental application based on what they find in your background. This can make it harder for you to find housing and cause you to live in a less than desirable area.

Insurance Rates

When you apply for insurance, your criminal background could affect what rate you receive and even whether the insurance company will offer you coverage at all. The fact is that insurance companies may be less likely to provide you with an affordable rate if they discover criminal charges in your background as they may consider you elevated risk. A nondisclosure is a legal way to seal your criminal history from the view of insurance companies and other private companies.

Child Custody, Adoption

Judges that preside over child custody or adoption hearings have broad discretion on what they can consider when deciding your case. If you are involved in a bitter custody fight, you can almost guarantee that the other side will mention your criminal record. But if you have received an Order of Nondisclosure, then you may be able to prevent your ex from seeing certain criminal charges in your background.

To Get A Fresh Start

Having a clear record is vital to many people. The peace of mind in knowing that you have moved on from your mistakes and that the public cannot hold them against you is invaluable.

Types Of Nondisclosures

In Texas, there are ten types of nondisclosures, here are the six most common ones:

  1. Automatic nondisclosure (deferred for certain misdemeanors);
  2. Nondisclosure for deferred felonies and all other misdemeanors;
  3. Nondisclosure for certain misdemeanors with probation;
  4. Nondisclosure for other convictions for certain misdemeanors;
  5. Nondisclosure for DWI (driving while intoxicated) involving Probation; AND
  6. Nondisclosure for other DWI convictions.

All the distinct types of nondisclosures must meet some basic requirements. Each of the types of nondisclosures listed above is described in detail below.

Basic Requirements For All Nondisclosures

Before you can determine if you can get a nondisclosure, you must understand the minimum requirements for all nondisclosures. No matter which category you use, the basic requirements for all nondisclosures are the same. They are:

  1. You were never placed in a deferred status for any crime (other than a fine-only traffic offense) after you received your sentence or during the applicable waiting period; and

 

  1. You have never been convicted or deferred for any of the following crimes:
    • Sexual offense
    • Domestic violence
    • Murder
    • Capital murder
    • Aggravated kidnapping
    • Trafficking of people
    • Continuous trafficking of people
    • Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person
    • Abandoning or endangering a child
    • Violations of bond in domestic violence cases
    • Stalking

For all nondisclosures except for automatic nondisclosures, you or your lawyer will also need to show that justice demands that you receive one. This means that the judge will need to believe that granting your nondisclosure is the fair and just thing to do. Or, in other words, based on your specific circumstances and the information you provide in your petition, you deserve to have your petition for a nondisclosure order granted.

Automatic Nondisclosures/Deferred For Certain Misdemeanors

As to the six types of nondisclosures, the first applies to “automatic nondisclosures” or certain misdemeanor deferred adjudications. The following misdemeanors are NOT eligible for automatic nondisclosure:

  1. Kidnapping and unlawful restraint
  2. Indecent exposure and unlawful photography
  3. Assault, deadly conduct; terroristic threats
  4. Bigamy, enticing a child, criminal nonsupport, violation of a protective order
  5. Disorderly conduct, harassment, animal cruelty
  6. Prostitution, sexting
  7. Unlawful carrying of a weapon, prohibited weapons
  8. Engaging in organized criminal activity

Automatic nondisclosures are available for first-time, low-level criminals. They are not available if you have been placed on deferred adjudication for driving or boating while intoxicated. Additionally, suppose you have been convicted of any crime or have previously received deferred adjudication for any crime, except for a fine-only traffic offense. In that case, you cannot obtain an automatic nondisclosure. Further, at least 180 days must have passed since your deferred adjudication. The key difference between automatic nondisclosures and other forms of nondisclosure is that you will not need to file a petition with the court to receive one.

Deferred For Felonies And All Other Misdemeanors

Under the second type of nondisclosures, you must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  1. You received a discharge and case dismissal of the deferred adjudication
  2. Receiving the nondisclosure would be just
  3. You were placed on deferred adjudication for any felony or misdemeanor not included under automatic nondisclosures
  4. After getting the discharge and dismissal, the waiting period has passed (five years for felonies and two years for the misdemeanors mentioned above or immediately for all other misdemeanors)

Probation For Committing Certain Misdemeanors

Under the third type of nondisclosures, you must meet the following requirements to qualify for a nondisclosure order:

  1. You were placed on probation for any misdemeanor except for the following:
    • Possession of or selling alcohol to minors
    • Flying a plane while intoxicated
    • Boating while intoxicated
    • Operating an amusement ride while intoxicated
    • Engaging in organized crime
  2. You completed probation and received a discharge from probation and a dismissal
  3. You were not previously convicted of/placed on deferred adjudication for any crime, except for a fine-only traffic offense
  4. Receiving the nondisclosure would be just
  5. The waiting period has passed (two years for certain misdemeanors or immediately for all other misdemeanors

Other Convictions For Certain Misdemeanors

Nondisclosures falling under the fourth type are like the third type. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a nondisclosure order:

  1. You were convicted of any misdemeanor except these:
    • Possession of or selling alcohol to minors
    • Flying a plane while intoxicated
    • Boating while intoxicated
    • Operating an amusement ride while intoxicated
    • Engaging in organized crime
  2. You were successfully released from jail/prison
  3. You were not previously convicted of or placed in deferred adjudication for any crime other than a fine-only traffic offense
  4. Receiving the nondisclosure would be just
  5. The crime was neither violent nor sexual, which the court determines
  6. The waiting period has passed (two years for certain misdemeanors or immediately for all other misdemeanors

Probation For Committing DWI

The fifth type of nondisclosure involves DWI (driving while intoxicated). These DWI nondisclosures are relatively new to Texas, as the law changed in 2019. To receive a DWI nondisclosure, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have been convicted of any DWI offense, except where the blood-alcohol concentration is greater than 0.15
  2. You completed probation
  3. You were not previously convicted of or placed in deferred adjudication for any crime other than a fine-only traffic offense
  4. Receiving the nondisclosure would be just
  5. The state never proved that the crime involved a car accident that affected another person, including a passenger in the person’s vehicle
  6. The waiting period has passed (two years if you completed probation where an interlock device was required or five years for all other cases)

Other Convictions For DWI

The last type of nondisclosure applies to DWI convictions, except for cases where your blood-alcohol level was greater than 0.15. You must meet the following requirements to receive a nondisclosure under this rule:

  1. You completed the requirements of your sentence, which may include jail time, payment of fines and costs, and payment of restitution (a payment to an injured party for any type of loss)
  2. You were not previously convicted of or placed in deferred adjudication for any crime other than a fine-only traffic offense
  3. Receiving the nondisclosure would be just
  4. The waiting period has passed (three years after you complete your sentence if you completed a condition where an interlock device was required or five years after the end of your sentence for all other cases)

Furthermore, under this rule, you are not entitled to nondisclosure if the prosecutor/district attorney presents enough evidence to the court that the crime involved a car accident that affected another person, including a passenger in your vehicle. Lastly, there are nondisclosures available if you enter the Veteran’s Treatment Court Program or Veterans’ Reemployment Program and for human trafficking victims.

Steps To Take To Get A Nondisclosure Order

Unless you qualify for an automatic nondisclosure, you will have to apply for one through the Texas courts. This means that you will have to file a petition for a nondisclosure order in the appropriate court. This petition is a legal document, so there may be consequences if it is not done correctly. It is always recommended that you, at a minimum, consult with a Texas lawyer before filing for a nondisclosure. An overview of the steps you will need to complete to get a nondisclosure is described below. Still, it is crucial to understand that the steps may vary depending on where you file your petition.

Determining If You Are Eligible For A Nondisclosure

As you may know, not all charges are eligible for nondisclosure. The law outlines several crimes that will not qualify for nondisclosure. You do not want to waste your time and money filing only to discover that you cannot get one. You will want your lawyer to look over your case to determine if they believe you meet the nondisclosure requirements.

File Your Petition

If you have determined that you may be eligible for nondisclosure, the next step will be to complete and file your petition. In Tarrant County, Texas, you should work with your criminal defense attorney to ensure that you correctly file your petition through the local Tarrant county criminal courts. There may be forms online that claim to be a petition for a nondisclosure order. But the best way to ensure that you have a valid and complete petition is by having your lawyer draft it for you. Once completed, you will need to file it with the appropriate court. This may mean that you will have to go to the court where your charges originated. Filing in the wrong court may cause the judge to reject your petition.

Attending Your Court Hearing

If the court has accepted your petition, then a date will be set where the court will hear your case and decide if it will grant your petition. All relevant law enforcement or government agencies will be provided notice and may attend. If anyone is contesting your nondisclosure, they have the right to make arguments at your hearing urging the court not to grant your petition. Additionally, you will have to convince the judge to grant your petition.

Argue Your Case

Simply filing your petition and showing up for your hearing may not be enough to get your petition granted. You may have to submit documents and make arguments to show why the court should grant your petition, and you receive an Order of Nondisclosure. The court may ask for proof that you have completed the conditions of your deferred adjudication and that you paid off any fines and court costs associated with your offense. Ultimately, you must show the judge that justice demands the granting of your petition. Or, in other words, why you deserve a second chance.

If the judge agrees with you and grants your petition for an Order of Nondisclosure, then the clerk of court has 15 days to send a copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). They will then have 10 business days to seal your criminal history record information and send the order to all required state and federal agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Nondisclosure Order?

A nondisclosure order is a legal process to seal certain criminal records and prevent the public from seeing them. A nondisclosure does not erase the record of your criminal history, but some employers and other private citizens will not see it. If the court grants your nondisclosure petition, the law allows you to act as if the offense never happened. The arrest and charges will not pop up on a basic background search.

Am I Eligible To Get A Nondisclosure?

Only certain offenses are eligible for a nondisclosure. The law describes who and under what circumstances is eligible for a nondisclosure order. Without looking into the specifics of your case, it would be impossible to state with certainty whether you are eligible. Still, serious crimes like murder, rape, and human trafficking will not qualify. Consulting with an experienced Texas lawyer is the best way to determine if you can get a nondisclosure.

Do I Need To Get A Nondisclosure?

No one is required to get a nondisclosure order. Nondisclosures were created for people who made a mistake, paid their debt to society, and now want to move on. Getting a nondisclosure is a personal decision and allows you to break free of the stigma of having a criminal record. It also provides peace of mind knowing that you have a clean record. Still, a nondisclosure can also be helpful if you are applying for a new job or looking to get custody of a child.

How Much Will It Cost?

There will be court costs associated with getting a nondisclosure. The exact amount will depend on the court that hears your petition. In Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, you can expect to pay a filing fee ranging from $300 – $450, depending upon whether your non-disclosure covers a felony or misdemeanor charge. While it is possible to get a nondisclosure without a lawyer, it is not recommended. As a result, you will likely want to include lawyer fees in the total cost of getting a nondisclosure. Still, you may be able to form an arrangement with your lawyer that allows you to stay within your budget while receiving the guidance and direction you’ll need to get your nondisclosure.

How Do I Get A Nondisclosure?

Getting a nondisclosure is a legal process that will involve filing a petition in a Texas court and attending a court hearing. You may also have to pay court costs and filing fees. Again, it is possible to go through this process without a lawyer, but you will likely find it challenging. You must correctly prepare your petition for a nondisclosure order, and inevitable mistakes concerning phrasing may result in a denial. You may also have to attend a court hearing and present arguments to the judge concerning why you should receive a nondisclosure order. It may not be enough only to say that you are eligible. You may have to prove to the judge that you deserve it.

What Is Deferred Adjudication?

Deferred adjudication is a legal term that describes how the court handled a criminal charge. Unlike a traditional trial where a judge or jury decides if you are guilty, a deferred adjudication essentially puts your case on hold (deferred) until you complete certain conditions set by the court. Once you satisfy those conditions, the charges are typically withdrawn or dismissed. Generally, you must enter a plea of guilty or no contest to qualify for deferred adjudication. Even after completing the requirements surrounding your deferred adjudication and resolving your case, there is still a record of your arrest and charges. A nondisclosure can provide a way to prevent the public from seeing that record in a background search.

What Is An Automatic Nondisclosure?

Some offenses will qualify for an automatic nondisclosure. This means that once certain conditions are met, the record of the arrest and charge are sealed from public view. Automatic nondisclosures are generally available for low-level, first-time offenders. Unlike other nondisclosures, you will not need to file a petition and attend a separate court hearing to have these offenses hidden from public view. Again, only certain individuals and crimes will qualify for an automatic nondisclosure. There is a waiting period after the resolution of the charges before the nondisclosure goes into effect.

I Received A DWI. Am I Eligible For A Nondisclosure?

It depends. Some DWI’s are eligible for a nondisclosure, while some are not. Whether you qualify will depend on how much alcohol was found in your blood (Blood Alcohol Content or BAC) when you were arrested, among other things. Specifically, if your BAC content was above 0.15, then you will likely not be able to get a nondisclosure for that DWI. You may also have to wait up to 3 years after you completed your DWI case to file your petition for a nondisclosure order.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Again, getting a nondisclosure is a legal process that will involve filing documents and going to court. While you could do those things without a lawyer, most people choose to hire an attorney to handle it for them. One of the reasons many people hire an attorney is because figuring out if they are eligible for a nondisclosure involves significant research and interpreting legal terms with which most non-lawyers are unfamiliar. You will also need to file your petition in the correct court. And even if you get everything right, you may still need to convince the judge that you deserve a nondisclosure. This can involve presenting documents and making legal arguments. Few non-lawyers feel comfortable doing all those things.

Does A Nondisclosure Erase My Criminal Record?

No. A nondisclosure can only seal your criminal record. This means that law enforcement and the court system will still have a record of your arrest and offense, but the public will not be able to see it. You also need to understand that a nondisclosure will only apply to the offense(s) that you listed in your petition. It will not seal the records of crimes you did not apply for or that were not eligible for nondisclosure.

The Court Granted My Nondisclosure. Do I Still Have To Let Employers Know About The Arrest And Charges?

Once your nondisclosure is complete, you do not have to disclose any offenses that were part of the nondisclosure order to current or potential employers. This means that if you are filling out an application and it asks if you have been arrested or convicted of an offense in the past, you can legally answer no to that question. To be sure, if there are other offenses in your background that you have not received a nondisclosure for, then you may have to disclose them.

How Hiring A Texas Lawyer For Your Nondisclosure Can Help You

Your reputation is one of the most precious things that you have. So much can ride on your good name that protecting it is a matter of extreme importance. Whether it’s applying for a job or fighting for your custody rights, what’s in your background can have a significant effect on your life and future. Because of how vital your reputation can be, you will likely want to do everything that you can to keep it clean. Nondisclosures can provide a way for you to do that. Still, getting one is no easy task, and it is recommended that you hire a capable Texas lawyer to give yourself the best chance to make it a reality. Here are a few ways a Texas lawyer can help you successfully get a nondisclosure and give you the clean slate you deserve.

Determining If You Are Eligible For A Nondisclosure

Not every person or offense will be eligible for a nondisclosure. The law describes who can get one and under what circumstances. The law also outlines how long you may have to wait to petition the court for a nondisclosure. Determining if you are eligible is often not clear-cut. If you do not have a background in the law, then the legalese found in legal documents can look like an entirely different language to you. An experienced Texas lawyer will know which laws will apply to you and whether your offense is eligible for a nondisclosure.

Drafting And Filing Your Petition For A Nondisclosure Order

To get a nondisclosure order, you will need to file a petition with the proper Texas court. A petition is essentially a document where you are asking the court to do something. A petition also usually includes the reasons why you believe the court should grant your request. Because a nondisclosure is only available to certain individuals, your petition will need to describe why, under the law, you are eligible to receive one. If your petition is incomplete or inaccurate, it may get denied. An experienced Texas lawyer will know what to put in your petition and where to file it. Hiring a lawyer to draft and file your petition will ensure that it is done correctly and give you the best chance at getting your nondisclosure granted.

Gathering All Necessary Legal Documents

Once your petition has been filed, the court will then schedule your case for a hearing. But before that can happen, you will want to gather all relevant documents to the offense(s) that are part of your nondisclosure petition. This may include charging documents, final disposition orders, and proof that you have completed the terms and conditions of your deferred adjudication. Because an experienced Texas lawyer will know which documents the court will want to see at your hearing, you will not need to worry about being unprepared.

Convincing The Judge

Texas law requires that all nondisclosures must be in the interest of justice. That means that the judge must believe that granting your petition is fair and the right thing to do. Simply asking the judge to give you what you want probably won’t work. You will likely need to persuade the judge that giving you a nondisclosure is the right decision. Your lawyer is trained at making arguments in a way that will convince a judge to grant your petition. A good lawyer will also be familiar with the judge hearing your case and will know exactly what to say to get that judge to sign your nondisclosure order.

Following Up On Your Case

Once the judge signs off on your nondisclosure order, the relevant agencies will have a certain number of days to seal the records surrounding your case. A good lawyer will follow up on this and ensure that the agencies have done what they are supposed to do. If they have not, your lawyer can then take the necessary steps to force them to do so.

Fort Worth Texas Nondisclosure Lawyer

To protect your reputation, you’ll want to consider getting a nondisclosure if you are eligible. But the laws on nondisclosures in Texas are complex. You don’t want to get this wrong. Instead, you should discuss your situation with a skilled nondisclosure lawyer. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC have assisted many people in Texas with obtaining nondisclosures and expunctions. We’ll help you understand if you are eligible and get started on your case right away. To learn more about how we can help you, reach out to The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC today by calling (817) 826-9885 or contacting us online.

Helping Clients Seal Their Criminal Records in Fort Worth, Arlington and Tarrant County

Do you want to seal your criminal record? In certain circumstances it is possible to seal charges that you plead guilty or no contest to if you received deferred adjudication. That means you won’t have to worry about anything raising red flags during background checks that would limit your employment opportunities or ability to receive student loans. In most cases the terms of the deferred adjudication agreement include a period of probation, or what Texas likes to call “community supervision”. When the judge offers you the opportunity the pitch sounds very attractive, usually including words like “after probation is finished you will have a clean record.” However, this is not the case in Texas. We highly recommend that hire a lawyer to seal your record, that way you know that it has been done right and won’t worry about any surprises haunting you later on in life.

If I Complete the Terms of Deferred Adjudication in Texas is My Record Clean?

No. Unless you take the extra step necessary to have your record sealed or nondisclosed, the charges will still be visible on a criminal background check. If you completed the terms of deferred adjudication successfully our team of lawyers can seal your record. You see, Texas Code § 411.0715 makes it possible for people who have successfully completed the terms of deferred adjudication for most lesser charges to remove the charge from their record. Unfortunately your criminal record will not be sealed automatically in most cases.

We recommend hiring an attorney to seal you record who understands the complex Nondisclosure process. In most cases the terms of the deferred adjudication agreement include a period of probation, or what Texas likes to call “community supervision”. If you successfully complete the probationary period you might be eligible to file a nondisclosure to seal your record.

criminal record sealingHow Does Deferred Adjudication and Criminal Record Sealing Eligibility Work in Texas?

Basically, when someone is granted deferred adjudication the terms of their freedom are conditional; they must not get charged with any other crimes and complete the entire period of probation without any violations to be eligible for criminal record sealing. Deferred adjudication is often given as an option for first time offenders of non-violent, less serious crimes. It gives them the opportunity to prove they can obey the law, and Texas law rewards them with the ability to clean their record. This chance at redemption comes with a high risk though.

In many cases of deferred adjudication if someone violates the terms of their probation or is charge and/or convicted of another crime, they will not only face the full scope of penalties for that crime; they will also be ineligible for nondisclosure and lose the opportunity to have their record sealed.

How Can Someone Be Eligible for Nondisclosure to Seal Their Criminal Record in Texas?

In Texas, there basically five different types of nondisclosure eligibility. Once you have filed for nondisclosure and a decision has been made granting or denying your eligibility for criminal record sealing, you cannot appeal the decision. That is why it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal record sealing lawyer who is familiar with this very complex area of Texas law.

There are specific deadlines to file depending on the specific type of charge and eligibility you fall under, and then different waiting periods and conditions required to complete the process. Below are five basic categories that Texas record sealing statutes split Nondisclosures into.

1.     Automatic nondisclosure eligibility. Automatic nondisclosures in Texas are meant to expedite and simplify the criminal record sealing process for low level, first time offenders. To qualify for an automatic nondisclosure you must have completed the terms of deferred adjudication for an eligible non-violent misdemeanor charge and not have any previous convictions (other than traffic fines) and never participated in deferred adjudication before. Automatic nondisclosure eligibility is available for most deferred adjudication misdemeanors except: murder, organized crime, injury to a child or elder, prostitution, unlawful carrying of a weapon, kidnapping and unlawful restraint, sexting, assault, deadly conduct, terroristic threat, violating a protective order, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, animal cruelty, criminal nonsupport, unlawful photography, and enticing or luring a child.

2.     Deferred adjudication eligibility. With regular deferred adjudication (not automatic), a person can be eligible for nondisclosure if they were placed on deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor or a felony charge. However, people trying to seal their record for misdemeanors listed in number one above that were ineligible for automatic nondisclosure have a two year waiting period from the time their deferred adjudication ends until they can file for a nondisclosure. People completing deferred adjudication for certain felonies are also eligible for a standard nondisclosure, but there is a five year waiting period before you can file to seal your record.

3.     Eligibility for community service and probation of lesser misdemeanors. Under this type of eligibility, a first time misdemeanor offender who has not been granted deferred adjudication can be eligible to have their record sealed. People who have been placed on probation and/or community service as punishment for are included in this group, not people who were given deferred adjudication. Misdemeanor charges that make someone ineligible for criminal record sealing include alcohol-related crimes, organized crime, violent crimes, and crimes against children. Speak with a nondisclosure lawyer to see if you are eligible.

4.     Eligibility after jail served for misdemeanor crime. This classification of eligibility includes people who have served the jail time they were sentenced for a qualifying misdemeanor charge as described in number one. The person must not have any prior convictions to qualify, and they must wait two years from the time they are release from jail to file for nondisclosure and get their record sealed.

5.     Human trafficking victim eligibility. This type of eligibility is very specific. Only people who have been convicted for prostitution, but later proved that the crime was committed only because they were being coerced and at the time a victim of human trafficking are eligible for this type of nondisclosure.

What is the Difference Between a Non Disclosure Record Seal and a Record Expunction in Texas?

While a record expunction erases your criminal record, a nondisclosure seals your record from people who run background checks like employers or insurance companies but not law enforcement (the police can still see your criminal record after a nondisclosure in Texas).

Record expunctions can be filed for people who have gone to trial for eligible crimes and found not guilty. In most cases where people are eligible for nondisclosure in Texas, they pled no contest. A no contest plea is in effect the same as pleading guilty. The primary difference between a record expunction and a nondisclosure to seal records is that with nondisclosure involving deferred adjudication the judge has not accepted your guilty plea pending successful completion of your probationary period.

What Happens If I’m Placed on Deferred Adjudication?

If a court has given you the option of deferred adjudication and you agree to the terms, you will be under the supervision of the courts. This means you will have to meet certain conditions for a chance at redemption, giving you the ability to seal your record if you successfully complete the supervised term.

Some common terms a judge might order as terms for deferred adjudication include maintaining employment, reporting to a probation officer, random drug testing, and sometimes completion of an educational course. You may also be asked to perform a certain amount of community service as a condition of deferred adjudication.

If I Violate the Terms of Deferred Adjudication Can I Still Get My Record Sealed?

In some cases you might be eligible to seal your record, but only after a waiting period of two to five years and if you do not commit any other crimes. If you violate the terms of your deferred adjudication, the repercussions will be swift and indefensible. As part of your agreement with the court, the charges against you will be dismissed if you complete the terms of the agreement. However, if you commit any crime or otherwise violate the terms, you will be facing immediate jail time.

For example, if you pled no contest to a felony in the third degree, you could be facing jail time of upwards of 10 years. Deferred adjudication is like an immediate second chance; if you do not meet all of the terms of the agreement with the court, you don’t get another chance.

What Are The Benefits of an Order for Nondisclosure?

A nondisclosure order is helpful for a number of reasons including the fact you can avoid disclosing convictions to potential landlords or employers, your eligibility for student loans and housing assistance remains intact and your professional licensing will not be put in jeopardy because of a criminal conviction. In addition, your employment options will not limited.If you are granted a nondisclosure that means your criminal record is sealed when someone performs a background check on you.

Non Disclosure Process and Your Attorney

While it is possible to file the petition for nondisclosure on your own, it is not recommended. It is important to work with an attorney who knows when and how the documents are filed with the correct court and familiar with all of the procedures. However, there are also certain requirements which must be met for you to qualify for non-disclosure including:

Contact An Experienced Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer for Nondisclosures

If you have been given a deferred adjudication, probation, or served jail time for a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor crime, you might be eligible for a Nondisclosure order to seal your criminal record. A nondisclosure order can prevent criminal records from being used to deny you employment or housing. Contact the Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC at 817-435-2909 now to schedule a free consultation and see if you are eligible to seal your criminal record in Tarrant County, Fort Worth, or anywhere else in North Texas. Jeff Hampton is well versed in Texas laws and procedures regarding criminal record sealing and they can help file the necessary paperwork and signatures required to complete the process.record expunction destroys your criminal recordrecord expunction erases your criminal record