Petitions for Nondisclosure in Texas
Attorney for Nondisclosure Cases in North Texas
In the state of Texas, you may be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. An order for nondisclosure forbids criminal justice agencies from publicly divulging any criminal history record information related to a specific offense.
Texas law permits an individual to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure. The individual must have successfully completed the requisite deferred adjudication community supervision in order to be eligible for an order of nondisclosure.
Even if granted an order for nondisclosure, certain criminal record information is excepted from the required disclosure under the Public Information Act. According to state law, criminal justice agencies are allowed to release criminal history information subject to an order of nondisclosure to other authorized criminal justice agencies, any authorized noncriminal justice agencies, and to the individual that is the object of the order of nondisclosure.
Petition for Nondisclosure Under Texas Law
Under Texas law, an individual must wait the requisite period before submitting a petition for nondisclosure. Generally, all felonies require a wait time of 5 years from the date of the discharge and dismissal. The majority of misdemeanors require a 2 year wait time from the date of the discharge and dismissal.
Once the appropriate wait time has concluded, the applicant may file a petition for nondisclosure. The petition must be filed in the same court that originally heard the case and should include the original criminal case number.
When completing the form, the applicant will be required to provide the following information:
- The original court and case number related to the offense at issue;
- The date of the original plea of guilty or no contest;
- The type of offense at issue; and
- The date at which the court dismissed the proceedings and discharged the defendant from deferred adjudication community supervision.
Typically, the original court will consider the petition within fourteen days after the petition was filed. If the applicant misses this scheduled hearing date, the petition will most likely be dismissed and the applicant will not be provided relief.
What Happens at the Hearing After a Petition for Nondisclosure has been Filed in Texas?
At the hearing, the applicant will be required to speak to the following evidence and elements at issue:
- Whether the applicant entered a plea of no contest or a plea of guilty to the offense;
- Whether the court placed the applicant on deferred adjudication community supervision;
- Whether the court dismissed the proceedings in the case and discharged the applicant from any deferred adjudication community supervision;
- Whether the applicant is otherwise disqualified based on any other state law;
- Whether the applicant provided the petition for nondisclosure in a timely fashion; and
- Whether the granting of the order is in the best interest of justice.
After the court hears the evidence at the hearing, it will make the decision to either grant the order or deny the petition.
If the order is granted, the court will send the order to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS will then notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies, jails, courts, attorneys, and any other party that is believed to have a record of the offense that has been granted the order of nondisclosure.
Should You Contact an Attorney?
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense and have questions related to the charges, contact an experienced Dallas attorney who will explain your options and work with you to ensure you receive the best outcome possible.
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