Who Is Eligible for a Non-Disclosure Order in Texas?

When most people consider the possibility of being convicted of a crime, their immediate concern is usually a potential penalty such as incarceration or a fine. However, it is important to remember that the consequences of a criminal conviction can affect your life in an ongoing way, even after you have served your sentence and paid the fine.

non-disclosure orderA criminal conviction in Texas carries a lot of collateral consequences. For example, those with a criminal history may have a difficult time when applying for jobs, loans, and housing. As a result, you may face significant and permanent restrictions on your liberties if you have a criminal record.

The silver lining is that in Texas, some crimes qualify for an Order of Non-Disclosure if the person who received the conviction meets the requirements.

What Is a Non-Disclosure Order?

The phrase “Order of Non-Disclosure” might sound a lot like a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” (NDA), but the two concepts are not actually related in any way. While a non-disclosure agreement prohibits an individual from revealing details about certain business proceedings or intellectual property, a non-disclosure order is a way of sealing part of your criminal record.

An Order of Non-Disclosure is a court-issued prohibition on the ability of the following public entities to disclose or share certain criminal records:

  • Police departments
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Jails, prisons, and other detention facilities
  • Courts, including clerks of the court

Furthermore, if you have received a non-disclosure order, you do not have to disclose criminal offenses that are sealed under that order when applying for employment.

Yet it is important to remember that any given Order of Non-Disclosure will only cover one offense. You must petition the court for multiple non-disclosure orders if you have multiple offenses on your record.

Types of Non-Disclosure in Texas

The state of Texas recognizes several types of non-disclosure orders, and each one has its own requirements. The different forms an Order of Non-Disclosure can take include:

  • Deferred adjudication community supervision (DACS) for non-violent misdemeanors
  • DACS for misdemeanors and felonies
  • DACS for driving while intoxicated (DWI) misdemeanors
  • Community supervision after a conviction of misdemeanors
  • Community supervision after a conviction for DWI
  • Victims of person trafficking or compelling prostitution
  • Conviction of certain misdemeanors
  • Conviction of certain DWI
  • Completion of a Veteran’s Treatment Court Program
  • Non-Disclosure for completing a Veteran’s Reemployment Program

Because the eligibility requirements for each of these types of non-disclosure order are different, you should consult with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to help you understand whether you qualify and how to secure a non-disclosure order.

Ineligibility for an Order of Non-Disclosure in Texas

If you have been placed on deferred adjudication or have been convicted of certain crimes, you will not be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure in Texas. These crimes include:

  • Murder
  • Capital murder
  • Sexual assault or any other offense that requires you to register as a sex offender
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Human trafficking
  • Family violence offenses
  • Violations of court orders issued for sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, family violence, or abuse
  • Abandoning or endangering a child
  • Injuring a child, elderly, or disabled person

Furthermore, if you are charged with or convicted of any criminal offense during the waiting period required to file a petition of the Order of Non-Disclosure (two years after the dismissal and discharge of the criminal offense), you will not be eligible to obtain the order.

Documents Needed to File a Non-Disclosure Order Petition

To file a petition for an Order of Non-Disclosure, you will need to produce one or more of the following documents:

  • Documentation of the judgment in your criminal case
  • Evidence that your case was reduced to a deferred adjudication period, confinement, or probation
  • Evidence that you have completed your deferred adjudication, confinement, or probation
  • Evidence that the criminal proceedings against you were dismissed and you were discharged
  • Evidence that the judge set aside the verdict or dismissal of a complaint, accusation, or indictment against you

Contact an Experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

non-disclosure orderUnderstanding the eligibility requirements for receiving a non-disclosure order in Texas can feel complicated and overwhelming. The experienced Dallas criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can help you determine whether you are eligible. Our skilled legal team can also assist you in gathering the necessary documents if you choose to file a petition for an Order of Non-Disclosure.

Don’t let a criminal conviction remain on your record unnecessarily. Call us today at (214) 845-7007 or contact us online to start taking steps toward putting your criminal history behind you. Our results speak for themselves.

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