ORDERS OF NON-DISCLOSURE
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Criminal records are available for public view and it is relatively easy to access in this day and age. Anyone with an Internet connection can have access to a person’s background, criminal past, and even arrests. This makes it difficult for those who have a criminal history move forward, gain employment, take out a mortgage for their home, and other applications that require an examination of one’s background. An employer may make prejudgments about the applicant based on their history, even when an applicant has long since closed the door on the past.
Fortunately, there are ways to clear your record, or at least, keep the information from public view. One option is through expunction, which is possible when charges have been dropped, or a jury has rendered a not-guilty verdict. The other option is to make a petition for “Non-Disclosure.” You must have completed the deferred adjudication first to clear some charges.
Learn more about the process of ordering a non-disclosure from a seasoned Houston criminal defense lawyer! Request a free consultation today.
Immediately following serving the terms of deferred adjudication, a defendant can petition for non-disclosure. Without doing so, the deferred adjudication remains on record, which includes the details of the arrest, the trial, the guilty plea, probation, and the case dismissal. To clear your record, there are two possible options.
These are the two ways you can conceal your deferred adjudication records:
- Petition for nondisclosure – Section 411.081(d)
- Class C deferred adjudications
- Expunction – Article 45.051(e): reserved for municipal or justice courts
- Expunction – Article 5.01(a)(2): reserved for district or county courts
Remember that non-disclosure does not necessarily clear your record; however, it does bar the public from being able to access and view the information. Most misdemeanors are eligible, provided that the waiting period has passed, which is two years from the date of the case’s dismissal.
Some examples of offenses eligible for non-disclosure orders:
- Making a false report
- Indecent exposure
- False lewdness
- Interfering with a 911 call
- Unlawful possession of a weapon
- Disorderly conduct
The procedure for clearing your record can vary from case to case, depending on the type of criminal offense in question. Note, however, that felonies have a waiting period of five years, beginning from the date of dismissal. Furthermore, some cases are ineligible for non-disclosure orders. You will not be eligible to petition for non-disclosure if you have been convicted or served probation for certain felonies, many of which involve sexual harassment or endanger a child.
These are examples of the ineligible offenses:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated kidnap
- Forcing another to prostitute
- Murder and capital murder
- Sexual acts with a minor
- Family violence
- Indecent acts with a child
- Endangering a child
Houston criminal defense attorney, Herman Martinez, has extensive experience advocating for the rights of those facing criminal charges and those seeking to leave the past behind. Should you have any questions about how the process works and your eligibility, do not hesitate to reach out to The Martinez Law Firm.
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One of the largest benefits behind orders of non-disclosure means that future employers, loan lenders, apartment managers, and others who must conduct a background check will not be able to view the information and discount you.
It is vital that you have an attorney standing firmly beside you as you are going through the process of clearing your record or the non-disclosure order petition process. If you have been given deferred adjudication as part of a plea bargain, it is important that you see out a non-disclosure order as soon as possible.
Let’s get started on your case! Contact our Houston criminal defense lawyer.