Arrest records on an individual’s criminal history are not automatically removed or sealed when a case is dismissed;
even if, they have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation. An arrest remains a matter of public
record until you get an order granting an expunction OR an order granting non-disclosure from the court.
A person who has successfully completed deferred adjudication probation may (depending on the offense committed) be
able to ask the judge to sign an “order of nondisclosure” sealing their case.
However, even though a record is sealed from public disclosure, some state and federal agencies may still have access
to it. With that being said, it is always better to seal your case, than not seal your record, even if there are
some agencies that still may have access to it.
Furthermore, in some instances you can apply to have your offense pardoned if more than 10 years has passed since you
completed deferred probation, you have no other convictions, and not more than one other arrest. If the governor
grants your pardon, then you can get your offense expunged which erases it completely. For more information, click
here for our pardon services or click here to check out our new comprehensive guide that contains everything you
need to apply for a Texas Pardon.
Under Section 411.081(d) of the Texas Government Code, a court can issue an Order of Nondisclosure; which “seals” or
prohibits criminal justice agencies from turning over information regarding the criminal offense to the general
public, private employment screening comapanies, background search companies, credit reporting agencies, employers,
landlords, and private investigators.
You can even deny the existence of the record. The only exception would be if one of the agencies that had still had
access to the record was doing the background check, then you would have to disclose it.
There are some offenses that cannot be sealed by an order of nondisclosure, even if you have complete deferred
probation and satisfied the applicable waiting period. These offenses include:
Certain government agencies or entities will still have access to the information being “sealed” under the order of
nondisclosure. These entities include the following:
However, even though they have access to your criminal offense information, these government agencies or entities
will no longer will able to legally release the information contained in your order of nondisclosure to members of
the general public or to non-exempted employers who are trying to perform a background check on you.
Nondisclosure is not an automatic or simple process. You have to meet all the qualifications, present a Petition for
Non-Disclosure to the Court, and a judge still has to approve the non-disclosure. The decision to grant the request
is discretionary with the judge—meaning the Judge may not support your petition if it is not “in the best interest
of justice”. The law in this area is complicated, so it is best to hire an attorney who has experience in this area
to represent you to ensure your petition is granted.
Our team of experienced Texas Expungement and Non-Disclosure Attorneys have more than 30 years combined experience –
we know the system. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you. At Hopping Law Group, PC, our attorneys
can help you clear your Texas criminal record. We handle cases throughout the state of Texas. If you have any
questions concerning whether you are eligible to have your Texas criminal record sealed, you free free to contact us
or call us toll-free at (855) 773-4669 and speak with one of our Texas Non-Disclosure Attorneys for a FREE
John Hopping, Esq.