Many people today are living with criminal convictions for actions and behavior from their past. Criminal convictions often have consequences way after time has been served, community
service completed, or fines paid. Through the process of nondisclosure, a person convicted of a crime after completion of any conditions of sentence, can petition the court to seal or hide the criminal conviction from public view or inspection.
How Criminal Records Affect Daily Living
A criminal record comes up during routine background checks and may limit housing and employment opportunities, affect personal relationships, and cause lasting emotional pain. With the advent of the Internet, criminal arrests and convictions live forever. To help people transition and move on with their lives after completing any sentencing conditions, the Texas legislature has provided a mechanism called nondisclosure to assist people with certain criminal convictions seal their arrests and hide their criminal conviction records from the public.
Nondisclosure Law in Texas
Enacted in September 2003, Texas’ nondisclosure law permits the court to seal successfully completed deferred adjudication, community service, or probation matters from public record. The immediate effect of the seal is that information surrounding an arrest, conviction, and sentence cannot be disclosed to anyone. From the perspective of the person with the record, he or she can deny the arrest ever happened.
Deferred adjudication is an erasure of a guilty plea following a conviction once the defendant completes certain conditions like community service or probation.
Community service is a set of hours that need to be completed, in lieu of jail, as a form a sentence for the conviction of certain crimes.
Probation is the period a criminal defendant is under the supervision of the probation department and may be subject to additional conditions, like treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, to satisfy terms of sentence.
Exceptions to Nondisclosure Law
An order of nondisclosure applies to a past criminal proceeding. Later, if a person gets arrested and convicted of a new crime, his or her prior criminal record is relevant and part of bail and
sentencing considerations. Some crimes, like DWI, count a prior DWI conviction subject to a nondisclosure order by statute, in subsequent DWI criminal matters. Additionally, law enforcement and government agencies can conduct background checks and obtain prior criminal conviction information even if it is sealed for purposes of employment or an investigation into new crimes or questionable behavior.
Contact a Nondisclosure Attorney Today
To discuss your eligibility for nondisclosure relief or to seal your criminal record, please contact The Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker, P.C.. We represent people in criminal DWI proceedings and at civil administrative ALR hearings when their drivers` license is suspended or revoked due to a DWI or DUI related arrest, in the cities of Dallas and Plano and the surrounding counties in Texas. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, contact us for a detailed case evaluation.