Today, let’s talk about petitions for non-disclosure. If you’ve had a successfully complete deferred adjudication probation for a criminal case in Texas, under Section 411.081 of the Texas Government Code there is a way to seal the records of your arrest, prosecution and probation from public view. Meaning that while the government can see those records, private citizens and most employers cannot. In today’s increasingly interconnected online world, where all that separates your background from someone nosy is a few clicks of a mouse, this ability to keep your records from public view can be quite powerful.
Now the records subject to a non-disclosure order aren’t destroyed: they still exist and can be used against you if you get into criminal trouble later. But a person snooping around about you on the internet or an employer doing a criminal background check will not be able to see that you were charged, arrested, or placed on deferred. They’ll see nothing.
Be mindful that petitions for non-disclosure are different than petitions for an expunction. Expunctions, which totally destroy all physical and electronic records of your criminal charge, are available for people who were found not guilty at trial or had their criminal case dismissed. Again, petitions for non-disclosure are only for cases where you have successfully completed your deferred adjudication probation. If you qualify, getting a motion for non-disclosure granted is not complicated but there are certain steps that must be followed so it helps to be accurate.