Is your criminal history holding you back? You may be eligible for an order of non-disclosure. Once granted by the court, an order of non-disclosure can seal your criminal history information from public view, thereby allowing you to obtain employment that would otherwise be unavailable to you. Also, an order of non-disclosure may allow you to rent an apartment or condo that you’ve been denied in the past. Once an order of non-disclosure has been granted in your case, you can
lawfully deny ever having been arrested or charge with this offense, even if you’re under oath! The only situation in which you must disclose a case that has been sealed with an order of non-disclosure is if you’re on the witness stand in a criminal case.
If you’ve successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, you may be eligible for an order of non-disclosure. In felony cases, you’re required to wait five years from the date of discharge from probation before becoming eligible. For most misdmeanor cases, there’s no waiting period. Once discharged from probation, you can immediately seek an order of non-disclosure. For a select few misdemeanors, there’s a two year wait on eligibility.
Not all cases are eligible for orders of nondisclosure. For example, if you’ve ever been convicted, or placed on deferred adjudication probation for, an assault case involving family violence, you are forever ineligible to obtain an order of non-disclosure on any case for which you might otherwise be eligible (past, present, or future). Also, certain types of felonies aren’t eligible for orders of non-disclosure (e.g., “injury to a child”). In addition, you can’t obtain an order of nondisclosure for a case in which you’ve received deferred adjudication probation, while still on deferred adjudication for a prior case.
Even though you successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, and your case was dismissed, it remains part of your criminal history information for life, unless it’s sealed with an order of non-disclosure. You CAN do something about your criminal history!