What is an Order of Nondisclosure?
What is a nondisclosure order?
A nondisclosure order is a court order prohibiting public entities such as courts and police departments from disclosing certain criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you may benefit from obtaining such an order. You are not required to disclose information related to an offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.
Please note that a nondisclosure order applies to a particular criminal offense. The order does not apply to all offenses that may be on your criminal history record, but you may obtain multiple orders of nondisclosure for multiple offenses.
As mentioned above, a nondisclosure order prohibits entities holding information about a certain offense on your criminal history record from disclosing that information. This is a general rule. There are exceptions. Certain state agencies may still obtain information concerning an offense that is the subject of a nondisclosure order.
Please click the link below for more an overview of nondisclosures in Texas.
The information, instructions, and forms provided in this resource assume that you have:
- Determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements to get an order of nondisclosure AND
- Identified the type of nondisclosure, if any, that applies to your specific offense.
You are only eligible for an order of nondisclosure under Section 411.073 of the Texas Government Code if:
- You were convicted and placed on community supervision for a misdemeanor offense.
- The offense was not an operating while intoxicated offense or organized crime offense.
- Information on nondisclosure for certain Driving While Intoxicated offenses can be found here.
- Your community supervision (hereinafter referred to as “probation”) was not revoked and you successfully completed your period of probation.
- You must have complied with all terms of community supervision, including any term of confinement imposed and payment of all fines, costs and restitution.
- You have never been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense, other than a traffic offense punishable by fine only.
Waiting Period - IMPORTANT
You are eligible to file a petition for order of nondisclosure under Section 411.073 accordingly:
- On or after you complete probation, unless the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure is one of the misdemeanor offenses listed below; or
- On or after the second anniversary of the date you completed probation if you were placed on probation for a misdemeanor offense under the following Penal Code Chapters:
- 20 (kidnapping, unlawful restraint, or smuggling of persons),
- 21 (sexual offenses),
- 22 (assaultive offenses),
- 25 (offenses against the family),
- 42 (disorderly conduct and related offenses),
- 43 (public indecency offenses), or
- 46 (weapons offenses);
Obtaining a nondisclosure under Section 411.073 - Procedure
- In order to obtain an order of nondisclosure under Section 411.073, if you are eligible, you must file a petition.
- The form and instructions for obtaining an order of nondisclosure under Section 411.073 are available below.
- A nondisclosure petition is always filed into the court where your original case was heard.
- You will have to pay the filing fee, or submit a Statement of Inability to Afford Costs.
- The filing fee must be paid at the time you file the petition.
- You do not have to pay the clerk to notify the prosecutor of your petition.
- Under Section 411.0745(e), Government Code, the court must notify the prosecutor.
- You will have to attend a hearing setting. The court will give you your hearing date or tell you how to obtain a hearing setting with the court.
- You may have to contact the court to request a hearing.
- The prosecutor has the opportunity to respond to your petition with either an objection or non-objection.
- You MUST make arrangements to attend the hearing setting.
- Additionally, if the court issues an order of nondisclosure, you do not have to pay the clerk to notify law enforcement.
- Under Section 411.075, Government Code, the clerk must notify the Crime Records Service Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety (hereinafter “DPS”) of the order of nondisclosure, and DPS must notify the law enforcement agencies and entities listed in the statute.
What happens after the court grants me an Order of Nondisclosure?
The clerk will send a copy of the Order of Nondisclosure to DPS. DPS will then send the Order to a number of other government agencies.
You may also want to tell private background-check companies to remove your record from their databases. One way to do this is to contact the Foundation for Continuing Justice at www.continuingjustice.org.
Forms and Instructions Below
NOTE: It is a good idea to have a lawyer review your forms before you file or send them to ensure you have taken the right steps in the legal system. Please click the link below for information on limited scope representation for information on a good way to contact a lawyer for help.
Please see the forms and instructions for this type of order of nondisclosure directly below.
Click here for guided forms (recommended).
Click here for PDF forms.
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