Criminal Law Attorney Petition For Nondisclosure

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Since 1995 criminal defense trial attorney Paul Looney has litigated

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The frequency of criminal background checks has increased significantly as employers want to learn more about the background of potential employees. Apartment managers want to know who they are renting to. Adoption agencies, hospital boards, educational facilities and many others now check backgrounds out of security concerns.

With information readily available on the internet, a criminal background search of a person on the Texas Department of Public Safety website costs just $3. This creates difficult circumstances for people who have criminal charges on their records by forever impacting their ability to find a job or apartment.

Texas law allows two main procedures in which citizens have the opportunity to clear their adult criminal record (in limited circumstances). The first is expunction which is primarily for defendants whose charges are dismissed or who win not-guilty verdicts. The second, a Petition for Nondisclosure, applies only to defendants who successfully complete deferred adjudication for certain offenses.

Since expunction or nondisclosure do not apply to a final conviction, any defendant sentenced to jail or prison, or with a final conviction on their record, cannot clear that conviction from his or her record. The only exceptions are if a pardon is granted from the governor or the conviction is challenged through a writ of habeas corpus.

What is Petition for Criminal Nondisclosure

When a person successfully completes deferred adjudication, his or her case will be dismissed, and they will not have a conviction on their record. However, because deferred adjudication records are public record, they are not automatically removed from a defendant’s criminal history upon successful conclusion of the community supervision (probation) period. The law does not provide for expunction of deferred adjudication records. The records become part of the defendant’s permanent record. The arrest, court process, plea of guilty, probation and dismissal will all appear on a criminal background check.

Unless there is a court order directing otherwise, records of a prosecution resulting in a deferred adjudication are publicly available in the District Clerk’s (felony) and County Clerk’s (misdemeanor) records, the Texas Crime Information Center database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the National Crime Information Center maintained by the Department of Justice. The records may also be held by any magistrates, justices of the peace, pre-trial services offices, municipal, state, or county law enforcement agencies, and other agencies that at some point were involved in the arrest and prosecution.

There are two ways deferred adjudication community supervision records can be made non-public:

1. Petition for nondisclosure:
Under Section 411.0725(d), of the Government Code, effective September 1, 2015, a court can prohibit criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information related to certain offenses for which the offender was placed on deferred adjudication. There are many offenses, however, for which this procedure is unavailable.
2. Class C deferred adjudications:
By filing an expunction under Article 45.051(e), Code of Criminal Procedure (if the Class C deferred adjudication was imposed in justice court or municipal court), or by filing an expunction under Article 55.01(a)(2), Code of Criminal Procedure (if the Class C deferred adjudication was imposed in county or district court). Expunction is not available for deferred adjudication sentences for Class B, Class A, or felony offenses.

A defendant may be disqualified if he commits an offense after the deferred adjudication has been completed and before filing the petition.

Anyone who has ever committed any of the following offenses (including the offense for which the defendant received deferred adjudication) is not entitled to seek an order of nondisclosure:

  • Abandoning or endangering a child
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above offenses
  • Burglary of a habitation with intent to comment any of the above offenses
  • Capital murder
  • Compelling prostitition
  • Indecency with a child
  • Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
  • Murder
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography
  • Prohibited sexual conduct (incest)
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping of a person younger than 17 years of age
  • Violation of protective order or magistrate’s order
  • Any other offense involving family violence

Petition for Nondisclosure Waiting Periods

Under Section 411.0725(e), effective September 1, 2015, a defendant may need to wait a certain period of time after the date of discharge and dismissal before filing a petition for an order of nondisclosure. The operative date is not the date that the defendant entered his plea; it is the date the deferred adjudication was concluded.

Type of Offense Waiting Period
All Felonies 5 years from date of discharge and dismissal
The following misdemeanors:

• Abuse of corpse
• Advertising for placement of child
• Aiding suicide
• Assault
• Bigamy
• Cruelty to animals
• Deadly conduct
• Destruction of flag
• Discharge of firearm
• Disorderly conduct
• Disrupting meeting or procession
• Dog fighting
• False alarm report
• Harassment
• Harboring runaway child
• Hoax bombs
• Indecent exposure
• Interference with emergency telephone call
• Leaving a child in a vehicle
• Obstructing highway or other passageway
• Possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of switchblade knife
• Public lewdness
• Riot
• Silent or abusive calls to 9-1-1 service
• Terroristic threat
• Unlawful carrying of headgun by license holder
• Unlawful carrying weapons
• Unlawful possession of firearm
• Unlawful restraint
• Unlawful transfer of certain weapons
• Violation of protective order preventing offense caused by bias or prejudice

2 years from date of discharge and dismissal
All other misdemeanors May file immediately on discharge and dismissal

If you want to file a petition of nondisclosure, contact the Nondisclosure Attorneys at

Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818.  Text Us:  405-388-6191.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

We serve Houston, the state of Texas and the entire United States.

Procedure for Filing a Petition for Nondisclosure

The Petition for Nondisclosure will be filed in the court that heard the original criminal case and should be filed under the same criminal case number.

Normally, the petition will be docketed for a hearing in the original court 14 days after the date of filing. If the hearing date is missed, the petition may be dismissed for want of prosecution.

A defendant needs to be prepared to provide evidence of the following elements:

The defendant is not disqualified from filing a petition under Section 411.0715, effective September 1, 2015

The petition was timely filed

Issuance of the order is in the best interest of justice

  • The defendant entered a plea of no contest or quilty to the offense
  • The Court placed the defendant on deferred adjudication community supervision
  • The Court dismissed the proceedings in the case and discharged the defendant from deferred adjudication community supervision

The Court either grants or denies the petition.


If you need assistance filing a Petition Of Nondisclosure, contact Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

We serve Houston, the state of Texas and the entire United States.

What Happens After the Court Signs the Order of Nondisclosure?

The court order will be sent to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety will send the order to all public agencies believed to have records of the case. In addition, those agencies are to send copies of the order to all private databases that they share information with.

These agencies are then obliged not to disclose the deferred adjudication record information to anyone other than:

  • Other criminal justice agencies
  • For ciminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes
  • An agency or entity listed in Section 411.0765(b), effective September 1, 2015
  • The person who is the subject of the order

Each petition for an order of nondisclosure will be judged on its own merit. The judge will consider a number of factors when determining whether to grant any such request. Under Texas law, an order of nondisclosure cannot be obtained for an offense for which the petitioner has been convicted.

Are you looking for a Crimina lDefense Lawyer?
Call us today (281) 597-8818 in Houston or (979) 826-8484 in Hempstead.

We are Criminal Lawyers Near 77079 and Criminal Lawyers Near 77445.

When you need to file a petition for non-disclosure call our Non-disclosureLawyer today!

Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818.  Text Us: 405-388-6191.

Our experienced non-disclosure attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a

free, no-obligation case evaluation.

We serve Houston, the State of Texas and the entire United States.


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For Priority Scheduling, ask for Paul Looney

11767 Katy Freeway, Suite 740 Houston, Texas 77079

or 979-826-8484

918 Austin Street Hempstead, Texas 77445

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