In 2015, the Texas Legislature made significant changes to the Non-Disclosure statute, which opened up many opportunities for people to seal up their past criminal history. Read below for an explanation of the impact of the new statute which can be found in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 411
What is a Non-Disclosure?
A non-disclosure is an order from a court prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history information. However, the new statute only applies to offenses which occurred on or after September 1, 2015. For offenses which occurred before September 1, 20145, the prior version of this statute applies. The new statute divides offenses which are eligible into categories. The main categories will be discussed below. However it is important to note that regardless of which category someone’s crime falls in, they must also meet other conditions to be eligible for a non-disclosure. There are also certain crimes which are never eligible for non-disclosure. Feel free to contact us to find out if your crime is eligible for a non-disclosure.
Government Code sec 411.072: Non-Disclosure for Deferred Adjudication for Certain Non-Violent Misdemeanors:
This section mandates non-disclosure for certain types of misdemeanors. This statute mandates non-disclosure for someone who has never previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication and successfully completes deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor not specifically excluded under this statute. It does not apply to misdemeanors in the following sections of the Texas Penal Code:
Chapter 20- Kidnapping/unlawful restraint/smuggling
Chapter 21- Sex Offenses
Chapter 22- Assaultive Offenses
Chapter 25- Offenses against the Family
Chapter 42- Disorderly Conduct
Chapter 43- Public Indecency
Chapter 46- Weapons
Chapter 71- Organized Crime
If the period of supervision is less than 180 days then a person must wait until 180 days from when they were placed on supervision to seek a non-disclosure. For a period of supervision 180 days or more, the person may seek non-disclosure immediately following discharge from supervision.
Government Code sec 411.0725: Non-Disclosure for Deferred Adjudication on Felonies and Certain Misdemeanors.
This section applies to felony crimes and misdemeanors that full under Chapters 20,21,22,25,42,43,and 46 of the Texas Penal Code, except for certain crimes which are not eligible for non-disclosure. Under this statute a person who successfully completes a deferred adjudication may petition the court for non-disclosure, even if they have some previous criminal record. The waiting period is 2 years from the date of discharge for misdemeanors, and 5 years for felonies.
Government Code sec 411.073: Non-Disclosure for Community Supervision for Certain Misdemeanors.
This section applies to people who are finally convicted, but their sentence is probated and they successfully complete probation. If that person has never previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication then they can petition the court for non-disclosure. Depending on the crime, the person may be able to petition immediately upon discharge from probation or have to wait two years. It is important to note that this statute specifically excludes intoxication related offenses such as Driving While Intoxicated from being eligible for Non-Disclosure.
Government Code sec 411.0735: Non-Disclosure for Conviction and Confinement for Certain Misdemeanors
This section allows a person who served a jail sentence for a misdemeanor crime that isn’t otherwise excluded to petition the court for non-disclosure 2 years after the release from confinement, provided they have never been convicted or received deferred adjudication before.
The changes to the non-disclosure statute have opened up the ability for many people to put mistakes behind them and prevent them from becoming a part of their permanent record. Contact us today for a fee consultation to see if your crime can be taken off your record.