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Nondisclosure Orders and Sealing Your Criminal Record in Texas

Adult Criminal Records

Information on the different ways to seal your criminal record in Texas.


 

What is a nondisclosure order?

A nondisclosure order seals part of your criminal record. The order stops public entities, including courts, clerks of the court, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutorial offices, from sharing information about the sealed offense. If you have a nondisclosure order for an offense, you do not have to enter the offense on most job applications. 

There are exceptions. Certain state agencies and licensing boards may still obtain information concerning an offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.

Please note that a nondisclosure order applies only to a particular criminal offense. The order does not apply to all offenses that may be on your criminal history record. However, you may obtain multiple orders of nondisclosure for multiple offenses.

Types of nondisclosure orders available

To get a nondisclosure order, you must file your petition or application with the clerk of the court that handled your case. The clerk will make sure the judge and the prosecutor get a copy of your petition.

Each type of nondisclosure order has its own requirements and form. You must be sure to use the one that fits your situation. 

Do not get overwhelmed by how many options there are. The Nondisclosure Order Prep Guide and the Fresh Start app can help you figure it out. The list below is just summary of each type to let you better understand the law.

The types of nondisclosure orders are:

  • Section 411.072, Government Code (certain nonviolent misdemeanors dismissed after completing deferred adjudication);
    • This section only applies to misdemeanor deferred adjudication cases where the defendant received a discharge and dismissal after September 1, 2017. If your misdemeanor deferred adjudication case was dismissed before September 1, 2017, the case would fall under the following section, Section 411.0725.
       
  • Section 411.0725, Government Code (felonies and other misdemeanors dismissed after completing deferred adjudication)
     
  • Section 411.0726, Government Code (DWIs dismissed after completing deferred adjudication)
     
  • Section 411.0727, Government Code (successful completion of Veteran’s Treatment Court Program)
     
  • Section 411.0728, Government Code (victims of trafficking of persons)
     
  • Section 411.0729, Government Code (veterans reemployment program)
     
  • Section 411.073, Government Code (certain misdemeanor convictions for which you completed probation)
  • Section 411.0731, Government Code (DWI convictions for which you completed probation)
     
  • Section 411.0735, Government Code (certain misdemeanor convictions for which probation was not assigned)
     
  • Section 411.0736, Government Code (DWI convictions for which probation was not assigned)  

Again, if you are unsure what type of nondisclosure applies to you, try using the Fresh Start app or the Nondisclosure Order Prep Guide. The app or guide may be able to tell you what type of record sealing or clearing you are eligible for.

Documents that you may need so you can ask for a nondisclosure order

You may need one or more of the following documents, depending on your case, to help determine if you are eligible for an order of nondisclosure. Basically, you need your complete criminal history and the records of the offense you want to seal. Such documents may include: 

  1. The judgment in your case.
  2. Any court order or other document showing that the judge reduced your period of "deferred adjudication community supervision" (also just called “deferred adjudication”), community supervision (also called “probation”), or confinement.
  3. A signed order or document showing that you completed your deferred adjudication or probation.
  4. A signed order or judgment showing that the judge dismissed the proceedings and discharged your case.
  5. A signed order showing that the judge set aside the verdict in your case or permitted you to withdraw your plea and dismissed the accusation, complaint, information, or indictment against you in accordance with Section 20(a), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.
  6. A signed order or judgment reflecting any affirmative findings made by the judge, including any finding that it is not in the best interest of justice for you to receive an automatic order of nondisclosure. Note that you may not qualify for a nondisclosure order if you have to register as a sex offender or if there has ever been any finding that you were involved in a crime having to do with family violence.

Shared basic eligibility requirements for all nondisclosure orders

Although the requirements of each section are different, in order to be eligible for a nondisclosure order under any of them, you must first satisfy the basic requirements of Section 411.074, Government Code. Satisfying the requirements in section 411.074 is the first step in qualifying for a nondisclosure order.

Exception: You can get a nondisclosure order after completing a veterans reemployment program under Section 411.0729 without meeting the Section 411.0729 requirements.

If you cannot satisfy the below requirements, you are not eligible for a nondisclosure order unless you completed a veterans reemployment program. If you are not eligible, there is no need for you to request a nondisclosure order from the court because the court does not have the legal authority to grant an order of nondisclosure to you. 

How do I figure out which type of nondisclosure order I need?

You can use the Nondisclosure Order Prep Guide and the Fresh Start app to help you figure out what type of nondisclosure or expunction you may be eligible for. 

What happens after the court grants me a nondisclosure order?

If the court grants the nondisclosure order, the clerk will send a copy of the order to DPS and any agencies you listed. This should take place within 15 business days after the judge signs the order.

Then, within 10 business days, the DPS will seal the offense within its records and send a copy of the order to the required federal agencies. See Section 411.075(b) for a complete list of agencies and entities that DPS must notify.

You can also contact the Foundation for Continuing Justice at www.continuingjustice.org and ask them to send copies of the nondisclosure order to private companies that may have your record on file. This is a free service.

Where can I get forms for a nondisclosure order?

Once you decide which type of nondisclosure order applies to you, you can download the correct forms from Nondisclosure Orders - Seal Your Record.

Where can I get help for a nondisclosure order?

Related Guides

  • Nondisclosure Order Prep Guide

    Adult Criminal Records

    Determine what type of nondisclosure order you may qualify for and gather the documents you will need.
  • How to Ask for a Nondisclosure Order - Seal Your Criminal Record

    Adult Criminal Records

    Make your Texas criminal record private with a nondisclosure order.
  • I need to clear an arrest from my record (expunction).

    Adult Criminal Records

    How to ask the court to permanently remove entries from an adult criminal history record.
  • Related Articles

    Related Forms

  • Fresh Start

    This app helps you find out if you are eligible to erase or seal your criminal record.