Are You Eligible to Seal Your Texas Criminal Record?

Texas Eligibility Requirement to Seal Your Texas Criminal Record – Nondisclosure

If you do not meet the below requirements, you are not eligible for a nondisclosure order. You must meet the requirements for a court to be able to grant you a nondisclosure order.
Basic Requirement 1: The offense is not a disqualifying offense.
You are not eligible for a nondisclosure order if you have ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any of the following:

  • an offense requiring registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;
  • an offense under Texas Penal Code Section 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping);
  • an offense under any of the following Texas Penal Code Sections:
    • 19.02 (murder)
    • 19.03 (capital murder)
    • 20A.02 (trafficking of persons)
    • 20A.03 (continuous trafficking of persons)
    • 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual)
    • 22.041 (abandoning or endangering a child)
    • 25.07 (violation of court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case)
    • 25.072 (repeated violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case)
    • 42.072 (stalking)
    • any other offense involving family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code.

Remember that these restrictions apply to your entire criminal history, including the offense you want to seal.  You are never eligible to receive an order of nondisclosure for any offense if you have ever been convicted of or put on deferred adjudication for one of the above crimes.

  • More Information
    • If you are unsure if you have a disqualifying criminal history, you may wish to check your criminal history record. You can obtain a copy of your Texas criminal history record from Identogo.
    • You should also review your case file, if possible. Your criminal history record alone may not contain all the information you need to apply for a nondisclosure order. For example, your criminal history record will not show whether you were required to register as a sex offender or whether any of your offenses involved family violence. You should be able to get a copy of your case file from the court that handled your case.
    • If you are sure that you know your criminal history, you do not need to obtain your criminal history record or case file. You are not required to attach your criminal history record to your petition. You may, however, attach your criminal history record to your petition if you so desire.
Basic Requirement 2:  There is not an affirmative finding of family violence.

You are not eligible for a nondisclosure order if the court found that the offense you want to seal involved family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code.

Basic Requirement 3: No Waiting Period Convictions or Deferred Adjudications (Except for traffic offenses punishable by fines only).

Some types of nondisclosure orders make you wait a certain amount of time after you finish your case before you can apply. These waiting periods range from 180 days to five years.

You are not eligible for a nondisclosure order if you were convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for another crime (other than a fine-only traffic ticket) while you were on probation, on deferred adjudication, or during the waiting period.

A nondisclosure order for completing a veterans reemployment program does not have the above restrictions. So long as you meet the Section 411.0729 requirements, you are eligible to apply for a nondisclosure order.

Selecting the Appropriate Procedure for Requesting an Order of Nondisclosure.

Introduction

This page will lead you through a series of questions and steps to help you figure out if you qualify for nondisclosure and if so what forms to use. Different Government Code sections apply to different types of nondisclosure orders. You have to apply for the type of nondisclosure order that matches your situation.

Be sure to start with Question 1.

Many find the law surrounding nondisclosure confusing. This checklist may not include every element that might impact your eligibility. 

This page only applies to adult Texas criminal records. It does not apply to federal crimes or arrests, charges, or convictions you received as a juvenile. Different rules apply to juvenile records.

Also, note that nondisclosure orders in Texas can be very complicated. There may be uncommon exceptions or bars to nondisclosure orders that TexasLawHelp does not address. If possible, always get an attorney to look over your case before applying for a nondisclosure order.

Before you get started, here is a list of the different types of nondisclosure orders:

  • Section 411.072: “Automatic” nondisclosure for deferred adjudication: certain nonviolent misdemeanors.
  • -This section only applies to a person who receives a discharge and dismissal on or after September 1, 2017.
  • Section 411.0725: Nondisclosures for deferred adjudication: felonies and misdemeanors that do not qualify under Section 411.072.
  • Section 411.0726: Nondisclosures for DWI (driving or boating while intoxicated) misdemeanors with deferred adjudiction (no conviction) — new as of Sept. 1, 2019.
  • Section 411.0727: Nondisclosures for successful completion of Veterans Treatment Court Program
  • Section 411.0728: Nondisclosures for Certain Victims of Trafficking of Persons
  • Section 411.0729: Nondisclosures for completing a veterans reemployment program — new as of Sept. 1, 2019
  • Section 411.073: Nondisclosures for probation (community supervision) following misdemeanor conviction.
  • Section 411.0731: Nondisclosures for probation (community supervision) following DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction
  • Section 411.0735: Nondisclosures for misdemeanor conviction with jail time.
  • Section 411.0736: Nondisclosures for DWI (driving while intoxicated) convictions.

The following questions will help you determine which section applies to you, and which set of forms to use in preparing your nondisclosure petition and order.

Question 1: Do you want to seal a misdemeanor charge, other than a DWI, that was dismissed after you completed deferred adjudication?

If your answer to Question 1 is no, proceed to Question 2.

If your answer to Question 1 is yes: Have you ever been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for anything other than a fine-only traffic ticket (not including the offense you want to seal)?

  • If your answer is yes, follow the procedure for a Nondisclosure
  • If your answer is no: Do you want to seal a misdemeanor offense discharged and dismissed?
    • If your answer is no, follow the procedure for Section 411.0725.
    • If your answer is yes: Does your case file say that the judge found it would not be in the best interests of justice for you to get an automatic nondisclosure order? (This is uncommon.)
      • If your answer is yes, follow the procedure for Section 411.0725.
      • If your answer is no: Do you want to seal charges for one of the following misdemeanors?
        • Kidnapping, unlawful restraint, or smuggling of persons (Penal Code Chapter 20)
        • Sexual offenses (Penal Code Chapter 21)
        • Assaultive offenses (Penal Code Chapter 22)
        • Offenses against the family (Penal Code Chapter 25)
        • Disorderly conduct or related offenses (Penal Code Chapter 42)
        • Public indecency offenses (Penal Code Chapter 43)
        • Weapons offenses (Penal Code Chapter 46)
        • Organized crime (Penal Code Chapter 71)
        • If your answer is yes, follow the procedure for Section 411.072.
        • If your answer is no, follow the procedure for Section 411.072.
Question 2: Do you want to seal a misdemeanor DWI (Penal Code 46.04 or 46.06) that was dismissed after you completed deferred adjudication?

If your answer to Question 2 is no, proceed to Question 3.

If your answer to Question 2 is yes: Have you ever been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for anything other than a fine-only traffic ticket (not including the offense you want to seal)?

  • If your answer is yes, proceed to Question 7.
  • If your answer is no, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
Question 3: Do you want to seal a felony record?
  • If your answer to Question 3 is no, proceed to Question 4.
  • If your answer is yes: Did you complete deferred adjudication for the felony?
    • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
    • If your answer is no, proceed to Question 7.
Question 4: Do you want to seal a misdemeanor conviction? (“conviction” includes any sentence of probation, fine, or imprisonment)

If your answer to Question 4 is yes, besides the offense you want to seal, have you ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense (other than a fine-only traffic ticket)?

  • If your answer is yes, proceed to Question 6.
  • If your answer is no: Do you want to seal a DWI (driving while intoxicated) offense?
    • If your answer is yes, that you do want to seal a DWI, proceed to Question 5.
    • If your answer is no: Do you want to seal any of the following convictions?:
      • Boating while intoxicated (Penal Code 49.06)
      • Flying while intoxicated (Alcohol Beverage Code Section 49.05)
      • Assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated (Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 49.065)
      • Organized Crime (Penal Code Chapter 71)?
      • If your answer is yes, proceed to Question 6. 
      • If your answer is no: Did you successfully complete probation (also known as community supervision) for the offense you want to seal?
        • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
        • If your answer is no, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
Question 5: Do you want to seal a DWI misdemeanor conviction (Penal Code Section 49.04)? (‘conviction’ includes a sentence of probation, fine, or imprisonment)

If your answer to Question 5 is yes, besides the offense you want to seal, have you ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense (other than a fine-only traffic ticket)?

  • If your answer is yes, you are not eligible for a nondisclosure order.
  • If your answer is no: Were you put on probation for a Class A misdemeanor due to your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) being 0.15 or more?
    • If your answer is yes, you are not eligible for a nondisclosure order.  
    • If your answer is no: Did your DWI offense involve an accident involving any other person, including a passenger in your own vehicle?
      • If your answer is yes, you are not eligible for a nondisclosure order.
      • If your answer is no: Did you successfully complete probation (also known as community supervision) for the DWI offense?
        • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
        • If your answer is no, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.

 

Question 6: Do you want to seal an offense that you only committed because you were a victim of trafficking (for example, if your traffickers forced you into prostitution)?
  • If your answer is no, proceed to Question 7.
  • If your answer is yes: Do you want to seal any of the following?
    • Marijuana possession (Penal Code 481.121)
    • Delivery of marijuana (Penal Code 481.120)
    • Theft under $500 (Penal Code 31.03)
    • Prostitution (Penal Code 43.02)
    • If your answer is no, proceed to Question 7.
    • If your answer is yes: Did you help with a criminal investigation?
      • If your answer is yes, follow the procedure for Section 411.0728.
      • If your answer is no: Did law enforcement ask you to help with a criminal investigation?
        • If your answer is no, follow the procedure for Section 411.0728.
        • If your answer is yes, did you decide not to help because you were 1) too young or 2) too damaged (mentally of physically) from your human trafficking experience?
          • If your answer is no, proceed to Question 7.
          • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.

 

Question 7: Did you participate in a veterans treatment court for the offense you want to seal?
  • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure. 
  • If your answer to Question 7 is no, proceed to Question 8.
Question 8: Did you complete a veterans reemployment program as part of probation for the offense you want to seal?
  • If your answer is yes, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.
  • If your answer is no to Question 8 and you answered all other applicable questions above, you do not qualify for a nondisclosure order.

 

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