Dunham & Jones is the largest criminal defense firm in Texas and has vast experience in helping Texans expunge or seal their criminal records through Petitions for Expunction or Order of Nondisclosure.
Benefits of an Order of Nondisclosure:
- Tell employers, friends, and family that you have not been convicted of a crime.
- Become eligible for a Concealed Handgun License.
- Enables you to apply for professional licenses and certificates.
- Student loan eligibility.
- Stop worrying about what others will find about you online
What is an Order of Nondisclosure?
Nondisclosure refers to a court order that bars government agencies and private databases from disclosing the records of an arrest and prosecution to the public. An order of nondisclosure effectively seals criminal history information related to a specific case so that access is restricted to only law enforcement and some government agencies.
What cases are eligible to be sealed through orders of Nondisclosure?
You may be able to get an order of nondisclosure and seal your criminal records if you received deferred adjudication which you successfully completed. On September 1, 2015 record sealing became available for certain misdemeanor convictions as well but only for cases arising after that date. Nondisclosure is not available for certain types of offenses such as those involving domestic violence, violation of a protective order, or stalking; offenses requiring registration as a sex offender; and serious violent crimes such as murder and aggravated kidnapping.
Waiting Period for Orders of Nondisclosure
For felony offenses, you must wait 5 years from when you successfully complete deferred adjudication before you can petition for an order of nondisclosure. For many misdemeanors you can apply as soon as you complete deferred adjudication, however, the following misdemeanors require waiting 2 years from successfully completing deferred adjudication before you may petition for an order of nondisclosure: abuse of corpse; advertising for placement of child; aiding suicide; assault; bigamy; cruelty to animals; deadly conduct; destruction of flag; discharge of firearm; disorderly conduct; disrupting meeting of procession; dog fighting; false alarm; harassment; harboring runaway; bomb hoax; indecent exposure; interfering with emergency call; leaving child in a vehicle; making a firearm accessible to a child; possession or sale of switchblade or knuckles; public lewdness; inciting riot; terroristic threat; unlawful restraint; unlawful carrying of handgun by license holder; unlawful carrying weapons; unlawful possession of firearm; unlawful transfer of certain weapons; violation of protective order preventing offense caused by bias or prejudice.
How does an Order of Nondisclosure seal records of an arrest and criminal case?
On any application for employment, information, or licensing, a person whose criminal history record information is the subject of an order of nondisclosure is not required to state that they have been the subject of any criminal proceeding related to the information that has been sealed by the order. Therefore, aside from the exceptions below, if you receive a nondisclosure you can legally deny you were arrested or convicted on an application for employment. (Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.0755) However, there are certain circumstances where sealed criminal records are still accessible. Sealed records are still accessible to law enforcement and certain government agencies and they may be disclosed in limited circumstances such as when applying for a professional license or application with one of the following agencies:
- State Board for Education Certification
- School district, charter school, private school, commercial transportation company, or education
- Shared service arrangement
- Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
- Texas School of the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Board of Law Examiners
- State Bar of Texas
- District Court regarding a petition for name change
- Texas School for the Deaf
- Department of Family and Protective Services
- Texas Youth Commission
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
- Department of State Health Services
- Texas Private Security Board
- Municipal of Volunteer Fire Department
- Board of Nurse Examiners
- Safe house providing shelter to children
- Public or Nonprofit Hospital
- Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
- Securities Commissioner, banking commissioner, savings and loan commissioner, or the credit union commissioner
- Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
- Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
- Health and Human Services Commission; and
- Department of Aging and Disability Services