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Criminal background checks are all too common, and they can reveal indiscretions that result in missed opportunities. If a defendant received deferred adjudication for a particular offense, he or she could be eligible for non-disclosure, which would mean the records concerning those particular charges would effectively be sealed.

What is Deferred Adjudication?

Deferred adjudication occurs whenever a defendant pleads either “no contest” or guilty to certain offenses in exchange for a much lighter sentence. The court will then require that individual to meet certain goals within a specified time frame, and once that happens, the case may be formally dismissed.

Although an individual received deferred adjudication, information about a particular arrest may still be made available to the public. A non-disclosure order is needed if that person is to avoid having this information readily available.

How is a Non-Disclosure Order Obtained?

A waiting period of between two and five years is required before petitioning the court for an order of non-disclosure. In petitioning the court, a criminal defense attorney will attempt to show that:

  • The individual satisfactorily completed a sentence
  • No subsequent arrests have taken place
  • The crime was a misdemeanor charge and qualifies for non-disclosure under Texas law

After an Order is Issued

After a judge issues an order, the appropriate law enforcement agencies will be notified, and the record is effectively sealed. At that time, the petitioner will be able to honestly answer “no” when asked if he or she has ever been arrested. That individual will also enjoy all the other benefits associated with a clean criminal history.

Even though employers and property owners will not be able to obtain information about a person’s arrest, certain government agencies and licensing organizations may nonetheless have access to it.

These agencies are listed in Section 411.081 of the Texas Government Code and can include:

  • State Board of Education
  • Texas Medical Board
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Texas Youth Commission
  • Municipal or volunteer fire departments

Get Help From a Non-Disclosure Order Lawyer in Houston, TX

A lapse in judgment doesn’t have to ruin you for life. If you’ve successfully completed deferred adjudication, contact a non-disclosure order lawyer for help with petitioning the court. Houston defense lawyer James Alston is a dedicated legal professional who believes each person should have the best opportunity possible of getting their life back on track after an arrest. He won’t judge you, but instead will offer you outstanding legal counsel.

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