Sealing Criminal Records, Nondisclosure

Sealing your Criminal Record

In Texas, the method to seal criminal records from the public is a Motion of Nondisclosure. Nondisclosure is a Petition before the original court asking the Judge to seal a person's offense. A Motion of Nondisclosure effectively seals the offense from the general public, and is available only for successfully complete Deferred Adjudication cases. This means that if a case was dismissed (without Deferred Adjudication), or resulted in a final conviction, it are not eligible for Sealing Criminal Records or Nondisclosure.

Nondisclosure requires a waiting period for some cases, ranging from 2 years and up. Once filed, Nondisclosure hearings in Travis County and Austin are typically set 45-60 days away, and generally the person does not need to come back to court.

Once granted, notices of the Order of Nondisclosure are sent to agencies that possess your information and offense data. The agencies (police, courts, jail) then seal the record and send in a compliance notice to the Court. You can expect to see results (in terms of a sealed criminal history of that offense) in about 4-6 months, although it could take up to one year for some agencies.

You can also read Common Nondisclosure Frequently Asked Questions or scroll below to read more details.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.

Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Nondisclosure include DWI Sealing of Record -- which is a specific Nondislosure, but for DWI cases that can also be sealed. Also, if a case was dismissed, read about Expunctions.

If you're looking for other topics that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.

What you Need to Know

Eligibility Depends on both the case and the person's criminal history. Not everyone is eligible for Nondisclosure, depending on prior convictions. And not all offenses are eligible -- even if the case was dismissed after a successful discharge of Deferred Adjudication. For instance, a family Assault case cannot be sealed through a Motion of Nondisclosure, despite the case being dismissed and regardless of whether there was a finding of Family Violence.

Benefits of Nondisclosure include that a person's offense will be sealed from the public's view, meaning potential employers should not see the offense, since it was sealed through a Motion of Nondisclosure.

One drawback to a Motion of Nondisclosure is that certain agencies can still see the sealed offense. A Motion of Nondisclosure will not shield the offense from everyone. Several state agencies listed within the statute as having the authority to view sealed records: mainly banks, education boards, licensing agencies, police, and prosecutors.

Another drawback to Nondisclosure is that we now live in a digital age where information is posted on websites, blogs, and online databases. Even after an offense is sealed, it is not a 100% guarantee that the offense will be hidden from the public. Still, it remains the best method by which to seal a criminal offense in Texas for those who have successfully completed Deferred Adjudication.

Work with an Experienced Nondisclosure Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Nondisclosure.

Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will an Expunction in Texas Clear My Criminal Record?
In Texas, an Expunction should destroy the records of both arrest and court proceeding. This is important since Texas DPS tracks arrest data, and actually sells the information to private businesses that then supply the public with your personal information.

What's the difference between an Expunction and Nondisclosure in Texas?
An Expunction orders agencies to destroy records of a criminal offense. This includes law enforcement and courts. Nondisclosure orders the records to be sealed from the general public, but law enforcement, prosecutors, and a growing number of agencies can still view the arrest and case data.

How can I Destroy my Arrest Record in Austin Texas?
As a general rule (although there are exceptions), only offenses that have not resulted in a conviction may be expunged from an individual's record. Cases dismissed via Deferred Adjudication Probation may be sealed through an order of non-disclosure.

What are the Costs to Clear my Record?
There is an attorney fee, a court filing fee, and court costs such as clerk's office fees. Expunctions and nondisclosure are expensive since the legal work includes research, document and motion writing, file review, and an actual court setting or hearing. In total, you can expect a range from $1,500 or more depending on the County, the offenses, and the Attorney.

Should I get an Expunction if the case was Dismissed?
Even if your case was dismissed, the public can still view the citation or arrest, the court proceeding data, and the outcome. A background check will show the disposition on your case as Dismissed, but that can still raise serious issues with potential employers, housing, and others.

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