If you have ever been arrested for a criminal offense, then in all likelihood, you have a criminal history related to that arrest that could show up on a background check. Many people mistakenly assume that if their case was dismissed or if they successfully completed probation, then their record was cleared. That is almost always not the case. There are, however, very effective methods for clearing or sealing a criminal history record. If you think you may be eligible to clear your criminal history, then you should contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in clearing people’s records. Criminal defense lawyer Waren Price at The Price Firm, PLLC, has cleared the criminal records of many former clients. Let him do the same for you.
What Is A Nondisclosure?
A nondisclosure is an order signed by a judge that prohibits criminal justice agencies from disclosing criminal history information to the public. The nondisclosure process begins with the preparation of a petition for nondisclosure. The petition is filed and set for a hearing before a judge to determine the person’s eligibility for the nondisclosure. Following the hearing, the judge generally signs an order granting nondisclosure.
If you believe that you may be entitled to nondisclosure of your record, don’t wait until it’s too late. Take advantage of that opportunity now. Contact us today for your free nondisclosure evaluation.
Understanding The Texas Nondisclosure Statute
The Texas Government Code sets out the requirements for eligibility for nondisclosures. If you meet the criteria set forth in the statute, then you may be eligible for a nondisclosure. Those criteria include:
- Meeting the statutory conditions specific to the offense
- Allowing any required waiting period to pass
- Not having been prosecuted for a prohibited offense and
- Nondisclosure of the offense must be “in the best interest of justice”
The statutory conditions for eligibility for nondisclosure vary depending on the nature of the offense, when the offense occurred and the disposition of the case. If you satisfy all parts of 1, 2 or 3 below, then you may be eligible for a nondisclosure:
- You successfully completed deferred adjudication probation for a misdemeanor or felony.
- You were convicted of a misdemeanor (other than DWI or DUI), placed on probation and successfully completed your probation, and have never been convicted or placed on probation for any other offense (other than a traffic ticket).
- You were convicted of a misdemeanor (other than DWI or DUI), completed your sentence, including fines, costs, restitution and confinement, and have never been convicted or placed on probation for any other offense (other than a traffic ticket).
Some offenses and dispositions require that a person wait a certain period of time after completion of a sentence before the application can be made for a nondisclosure. The generally applicable waiting periods are as follows:
- No waiting period (immediately) after completion of probation for most misdemeanors
- Two years after completion of nonprobated sentences (including any term of confinement and payment of fines, courts costs, restitution) for most misdemeanors
- Two years after discharge and dismissal and/or completion of probation for misdemeanors under Chapters 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, 43 and 46
- Five years after discharge and dismissal for felonies.
If you believe that you may be eligible to request a nondisclosure, contact the criminal defense attorney, Waren Price, and let us begin the process of clearing your record.
Certain offenses, whether they are the subject offense or part of the person’s criminal history, will render a person ineligible for a nondisclosure. This means that those offenses cannot be sealed by nondisclosure, and the person is not eligible to seal any other offense by nondisclosure if they have ever been convicted or placed on probation for one of those prohibited offenses. Those offenses include:
- Any offense that requires the person to register as a sex offender
- Any offense for aggravated kidnapping (Texas Penal Code Section 20.04)
- Any offense under Texas Penal Code Sections 19.02, 19.03, 20A.02, 20A.03, 22.04, 22.041, 25.07, 25.072 or 42.072
- Any offense involving family violence (as defined by the Texas Family Code) or
- Any offense in which the court made an affirmative finding of family violence in the matter which the person seeks to nondisclose
The process for determining eligibility for nondisclosure can be somewhat involved. We strongly suggest that you consult an attorney to determine if you may be eligible to have your record sealed. An attorney experienced in handling these matters can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
IMPORTANT: If you were acquitted, if your case was dismissed or if your case was reduced to a Class C misdemeanor, you may be eligible for an expunction. An expunction is similar but not the same as a nondisclosure. Please visit our Expunction page to determine if you may be eligible.
Why Do I Need A nondisclosure?
If you have ever been arrested, then you have a criminal history. You may think that no one knows about it or has found out about it before now. Unfortunately, criminal history information is becoming more readily accessible by the public every day. Now, if you don’t care if your friends, family, co-workers, employer or future employers know about your arrest, if that doesn’t matter to you, then you may not need a nondisclosure. But, if you would like the peace of mind knowing that the records related to that arrest have been sealed, knowing that you can legally deny that you were ever even arrested, then you need to request a nondisclosure. We can help you with that process.
You should not try to determine your own eligibility without speaking to an attorney. Contact us today and request your FREE consultation with our Texas nondisclosure attorney.