A nondisclosure in Texas cannot be given for a convicted offender.

The nondisclosure law in Texas has had important changes since Sept. 1, 2017, which alters the changes from Sept. 1, 2015, and increases the eligibility for nondisclosure.

Texas Nondisclosure Overview

The most significant change is that the rules apply to all cases, regardless of when the offense happened. Nondisclosure rules have mostly remained the same since the new changes. 

The rules do change, though, for misdemeanor adjudication cases that were dismissed after Sept. 1, 2017. The changes include new sections, which were added to allow for nondisclosure of certain misdemeanor convictions, such as driving while intoxicated. 

There are two kinds of particular situations where nondisclosure is also permitted:

  • Nondisclosure is allowed with successful completion of a Veterans Treatment Court.
  • Nondisclosure for some victims of human trafficking.

Documents Needed for a Nondisclosure Request

  • Copy of the judgment in the case.
  • A signed document where the judge reduced the period of deferred judgment, probation, confinement, or gave an early termination.
  • A signed document that shows successful completion of probation or deferred judgment.
  • A signed document showing judge dismissal of proceedings.
  • An order where the judge set aside the verdict in the case or allowed a withdrawal of the dispute against you.
  • A signed order by the judge of any findings that won't allow for an automatic nondisclosure order, including a finding having to do with family violence or of you having to register as a sex offender.

Applying for Nondisclosure in Texas

There is a complex and long process in order to apply for nondisclosure in Texas:

  • Get together a petition for nondisclosure that meets the statutory requirements.
  • File the petition at the court, which placed the deferred judgment.
  • If required, attend a hearing.
  • Get an order of disclosure.
  • Make sure the order of disclosure is enforced by the government and private entities.

Getting a petition ready for nondisclosure can be a complex process if you are unfamiliar with it. If you have your criminal record, know the requirements for documents, and can follow the instructions, it can be done.

You can use the Form Petition for Nondisclosure to try and be successful to file and seal your criminal records. Texas law requires a Petition for Expunction be filed in the county where the arrest happened, which can be different from the county where the charges happened.

The expungement process can vary from county to county in Texas, and many have different filing rules and fees. For instance, Dallas County requires everything sent by mail and with six paper copies of each sheet. When mailing paperwork, make sure to have a tracking number of mailings or confirmation of mail from delivery services like USPS.

Usually, you can send a copy of the petition to the prosecutor, along with the district court. It's important to contact your county clerk to understand the particular rules of the county.

In most cases, the Petition of Expunction has to be verified and signed by a notary public. Once the legal documents arrive in the mail, you wait for the county or district clerk to inform whether a hearing is needed. Unless there is an acquittal at trial, the hearing date depends on how busy the county is, even if Texas law requires the hearing to be 30 days after filing.

Tips for Order of Nondisclosure 

  • It can be good to have the application for nondisclosure signed by a judge without a hearing, and stay up to date with the process.
  • In some cases, you can have the prosecutor agree to your order of nondisclosure to have it signed by a judge without heading to court, but most often, you have to attend a hearing for the judge to decide on your order of nondisclosure.
  • If you have to attend a hearing, dress appropriately and answer the judge's questions truthfully and concisely.
  • Remain calm and don't be afraid of the prosecutor, judge, and court setting.
  • If you are eligible for expungement, where the prosecutor doesn't have a reason to oppose your petition, then the order should be granted without much difficulty.

If you need help with a nondisclosure in Texas, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.