Getting Criminal History Records Sealed From The Public

When a person is arrested, he or she is sometimes given the option of community supervision. This allows the person to get the case discharged or dismissed and avoid conviction once he or she successfully completes probation. When this occurs, the individual can then become eligible to petition for an order of nondisclosure if his or her situation meets certain requirements. A nondisclosure order prohibits criminal justice agencies from sharing with the public a criminal history record associated with a particular offense. This is true even if there is a request for the information through the Public Information Act. Criminal justice agencies will, however, be permitted to share the criminal history record information with other criminal justice agencies, authorized noncriminal justice agencies, and the person whose record is being sealed. Because of this, a nondisclosure does not seal a person’s record to the full extent that an expunction does. Even if you were able to avoid a conviction through a deferred adjudication, your reputation might be at risk if you still have an arrest on your record. When you apply for a job, an employer might see the arrest as a red flag and be hesitant to hire you, regardless of the story behind your arrest.

Our knowledgeable Plano criminal defense attorneys at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, provide useful information about nondisclosure order requirements in the state of Texas.

Waiting Periods For Nondisclosure Orders

In Texas, individuals might have to wait certain amounts of time before they can petition for nondisclosure orders. The waiting period depends on the type of the crime for which the person received deferred adjudication community supervision. According to Texas’ Government Code §411.081, most misdemeanors will result in no waiting period, meaning that the individual will be able to file a petition for nondisclosure right after a discharge or dismissal. Misdemeanors related to certain crimes specified under the law, however, will lead to a waiting period of two years. (Some of these specified crimes include assault, weapons crimes and certain types of sex offenses, among others.) The waiting period can be five years after discharge or dismissal for those who received deferred adjudication community supervision for felony offenses.

Grounds For Ineligibility

If an individual was convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense during his or her initial community supervision period or during the waiting period, that person will no longer be eligible to petition for nondisclosure. This rule applies for new offenses other than traffic offenses punishable by fine only. Individuals can also be ineligible for nondisclosure orders from the start if they were placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for certain crimes that are considered to be much more serious. This also applies if they were convicted or placed on other adjudicated community supervision for these crimes in the past. Some of these more serious offenses include those that require sex offender registration, aggravated kidnapping, murder, child abandonment or endangerment, crimes involving family violence and others. A lawyer can provide a full overview of whether or not you are eligible for a nondisclosure order.

Guidance From A Capable Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer

Because each case is different, it is vital that you meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you fully understand how Texas law can affect your nondisclosure petition. We can help you learn whether you qualify for this type of order and inform you of the steps you must take to obtain it.

We at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, want to help you seal your criminal record from the public so you can move forward with a more promising future. Call us today!