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Basic Requirements for All Orders of Nondisclosure

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Introduction

To seal your record, you must first meet the basic eligibility requirements that apply to all types of nondisclosure orders (Government Code, Section 411.074).

If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, then see if you meet the requirements for a specific type of nondisclosure order.

In addition to using this checklist, you may also click here to use the new Fresh Start app. Answer some questions, and it can tell you what types of nondisclosure order you may be eligible for.

Important:

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); or  
  • 42.072 (stalking); or 
  • 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 criminal history record from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Procedures for obtaining your criminal history record can be found online at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us.
    • 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 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) during the waiting period.

Exception

A nondisclosure order for completing a veterans reemployment program under Section 411.0729 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.