The Law Offices of Gary Churak P.C.

San Antonio

14310 Northbrook Drive #210
San Antonio, Texas 78232
San Antonio TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Who Can Be Eligible for Non-Disclosure Orders in Texas?

In the state of Texas, someone may be eligible for a criminal non-disclosure order if they have completed deferred adjudication probation and their offense qualifies them. Those types of offenses include:

  • Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a fine only.
  • Certain felonies (not involving family violence)
  • DWI offenses where alcohol concentration was below 0.15 and the offender had no previous DWI convictions in the last five years.

Other than an exception made for military veterans who participated in certain mental health treatment programs, individuals who are convicted of any other type of offense generally do not qualify for criminal non-disclosure orders in Texas. Furthermore, anyone with multiple convictions may not be eligible for an order, since the court must have a sufficient basis to conclude that the petitioner is fully rehabilitated before it grants the order.

In addition, certain other conditions must be met for someone to be eligible for a criminal non-disclosure order in Texas. For instance, individuals must wait at least 180 days after completing their probation before they can apply; and they also must submit evidence of rehabilitation, such as school transcripts or letters from employers and community leaders attesting to their good character. Finally, those applying for an order must pay any associated court costs and fees.

If all requirements are met and the individual qualifies, then Texas courts may grant an order that seals or restricts public access to the petitioner's criminal record. This can help individuals move forward with their lives and pursue new opportunities that may have previously been closed off due to a criminal past.

In short, someone may be eligible for a criminal non-disclosure order in Texas if they meet certain criteria, including completing deferred adjudication probation, having no multiple convictions, waiting 180 days after completing their probation period, presenting evidence of rehabilitation, and paying any associated court costs or fees.

If all these conditions are fulfilled, the court has the authority to grant an order that seals or restricts access to the individual's criminal record. This could open doors for them to better their future and make positive changes in their life.

What Is a Non-Disclosure Order?

In the state of Texas, a Non-Disclosure Order is a legal process used to protect the privacy of individuals by restricting public access to certain types of criminal records. Specifically, this order prohibits agencies from disclosing information about an individual’s criminal history or pending charges and keeps that information confidential. This order does not erase criminal records but instead restricts access to them so that only government agencies have viewable access.

Under Texas law, eligible individuals can petition for a Non-Disclosure Order after meeting certain criteria. Generally, to be eligible for a Non-Disclosure Order, individuals must meet all five of the following requirements: (1) complete their sentence (including probation); (2) pay restitution; (3) not be subject to an active criminal case; (4) not have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors within the last ten years; and (5) not have had a prior Non-Disclosure Order denied in the past.

If granted, the Non-Disclosure Order prohibits all state agencies from disclosing any information about the petitioner’s criminal history, except for limited purposes such as conducting background checks for employment purposes or certain professional licenses.

This order does not prohibit federal agencies or private parties from disclosing this information, so individuals need to be aware of this limitation before petitioning. Additionally, if an individual violates the terms of their sentence after receiving a Non-Disclosure Order, then the court may revoke the order.

A Non-Disclosure Order is an important legal mechanism that can help protect individuals’ privacy in Texas by restricting public access to certain criminal records. However, individuals must understand the limitations of this order before petitioning for one.

What Are the Different Types of Non-Disclosure Orders?

Texas law provides for several different types of Non-Disclosure Orders (NDOs) that are used in criminal cases. The most known ones are the traditional NDOs and the Expunction Orders.

Traditional Non-Disclosure Orders: A judge may grant a Traditional NDO at any time after an individual is arrested or charged with a crime if certain requirements have been met. With an NDO, all records related to the arrest or charge are sealed from public view, but they can still be accessed by certain authorized persons such as employers conducting background checks and law enforcement officers. This type of order does not apply to convictions, so any record of conviction will remain visible on public records.

Expunction Order: An Expunction Order is like a Traditional NDO, but its effects are more comprehensive. It requires that all records related to arrest or charge be completely erased from public view, and even authorized personnel will be unable to access the records. This type of order is only available in certain cases where the individual was acquitted, not convicted, or when the charges were dismissed after a period of deferred adjudication probation.

Early Termination of Community Supervision: Under Texas law, those on community supervision may be eligible for early termination of the sentence. This means that once their terms have been fulfilled, they can petition the court for an Early Termination of Community Supervision Order (ETCSO). If granted, this would allow them to petition for an Expunction Order or NDO, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Petition for Non-Disclosure: If an individual is denied a Traditional NDO or Expunction Order because they do not meet the requirements, they may still be able to petition for a Non-Disclosure Order regardless of their conviction status. This type of order is up to the discretion of the judge and can only be granted in certain circumstances, such as if it can be shown that granting it would serve justice or benefit society at large.

Texas law provides many options for those seeking relief from public disclosure of criminal records. Depending on the unique circumstances of each case, individuals may be eligible for one or more types of Non-Disclosure Orders. It is important to consult an experienced criminal law attorney to ensure that the best course of action is taken in each case.

How Can I Obtain a Non-Disclosure Order?

The process of obtaining a non-disclosure order in Texas is relatively straightforward, although it does require filing a petition with the court. The petitioner must provide specific information to the court regarding their conviction, proof that they completed their sentence (probation, community supervision, or deferred adjudication), and any documentation showing that they have been law-abiding since then.

Before filing the petition, a petitioner should research the laws governing non-disclosure orders in Texas to ensure that they meet all requirements for eligibility. Someone charged with certain misdemeanors or felonies can qualify for an order of non-disclosure if they are not currently facing other criminal charges and have completed all terms of their sentence or probation.

Once the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled, and notice given to both the petitioner and the prosecutor. The court may consider any relevant evidence that is presented at the hearing before deciding on whether to grant the order of non-disclosure.

If it is granted, then certain steps must be taken for it to become legally enforceable. These include registering with the Texas Department of Public Safety and filing paperwork with each agency or entity (such as an employer) that has access to records related to their criminal history.

It is important to note that obtaining an order of non-disclosure does not guarantee that all records associated with a conviction will be permanently erased; rather, it prevents the public from accessing them. Therefore, it is still important to use caution when disclosing one’s criminal history in certain situations, such as when applying for a job or loan.

Someone charged with a criminal offense in Texas can obtain a non-disclosure order by filing a petition with the court and providing all necessary information. Once granted, several steps must be taken to register the order and make sure that it is legally enforceable.

While this process may be lengthy and involved, it can provide valuable peace of mind for those seeking to keep their criminal past private.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Non-Disclosure Order?

In Texas, the process of obtaining a non-Disclosure order for a criminal offense can take anywhere from a few months up to several years depending on various factors. It takes an average of 6-9 months from the time of filing to receive an Order of Non-Disclosure.

Some of the most influential factors that could affect this timeline are whether the individual has any pending charges and/or convictions, their age at the time of conviction, and the type of offense in question.

For example, if someone was convicted as a juvenile then they may be eligible for expunction instead, whereas adults over 17 typically must file for non-disclosure. In addition, some offenses such as felonies cannot be sealed or expunged and must only apply for non-Disclosure.

The other major factor that will influence the timeline of obtaining a non-Disclosure order is how quickly the court processes the application. If there are any errors or inconsistencies in the paperwork, it can delay the process significantly. Furthermore, different courts may have different policies regarding when they process applications, and this could add more time to the process as well.

Overall, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact timeline for receiving a non-Disclosure order because many factors can affect it. However, if all goes well and there are no errors in the paperwork then one should expect to receive their Order of Non-Disclosure within 6-9 months of filing.

It is important to note that, even after receiving the order of non-Disclosure, there are still certain limitations as to what records can be sealed and who has access to them.

Once an individual receives this Order, their criminal record will not be visible to most employers or potential landlords; however, it may still appear on background checks conducted by governmental agencies or by law enforcement.

Furthermore, if the offense was committed against a minor then the records cannot be sealed regardless of whether the offender has obtained a non-Disclosure order.

Who is Not Eligible for Non-disclosure Orders?

In Texas, certain parties are not eligible for non-disclosure orders. These include individuals convicted of a felony that is punishable by life imprisonment or death and those who have been previously granted an order of nondisclosure. Additionally, individuals must have completed all aspects of their sentence to be eligible; this includes any fines, court costs, or restitution payments they may be required to pay.

Furthermore, the individual cannot have any pending criminal charges or convictions unrelated to the offense that was sealed under the non-disclosure order, nor can they currently be on deferred adjudication for any offense when applying for the order.

Finally, an individual must not have been convicted of a family violence crime in the past five years before submitting his/her application for a non-disclosure order. These restrictions must be met for an individual to be eligible for a non-disclosure order in the state of Texas.

In addition, it is important to note that certain offenses are ineligible for non-disclosure orders and cannot be sealed under this type of process. This includes all sexual offenses and any other crime that requires an individual to register as a sex offender or violent offender registrant. Additionally, if the offense was committed against a public servant while they were engaged in official duties, then it would also not be eligible for nondisclosure.

Furthermore, if the offense was categorized as a “hate crime” or involved family violence, it would not qualify either. Other offenses are not eligible for non-disclosure orders, so it is important to become familiar with the applicable laws in your jurisdiction before applying.

It is important to keep in mind that even if an individual meets all the criteria necessary to be eligible for a non-disclosure order, he/she may still be denied. The court has ultimate discretion when determining whether to grant an individual’s application and therefore may deny them despite meeting all requirements.

It is also worth noting that once granted, non-disclosure orders can only be revoked under certain circumstances such as the discovery of new evidence or the defendant having committed another offense unrelated to the one being sealed. As such, individuals seeking a non-disclosure order should be aware of the criteria for eligibility and consult with a qualified attorney for guidance.

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