PETITION OF NON-DISCLOSURE

Petition of Non-Disclosure

Everyone makes mistakes in life. In the event that you have ever been charged with a Texas criminal offense a simple criminal history check can easily reveal this sensitive information. You may be subject to a background check when you are applying for employment, many kinds of loans, degree programs or even when you are seeking to rent a house or apartment. If you are not eligible for an expunction, you could possibly qualify for an “Petition of Nondisclosure”. A order of Non-disclosure would seal all of your criminal records, including your arrest paperwork, booking photos, fingerprint cards, offense reports, jail paperwork, court paperwork, probation papers, and all other documentation that shows the criminal case to everyone EXCEPT the government, law enforcement, and select licensing agencies. In essence, any private company will not be able to access it on background checks and hold it against you. You can even deny it ever happened to all private entities. At the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C., our staff is experienced with this process and is ready to help you improve your way of life, providing you with a Petition of Non-Disclosure Attorney to help you move on with your life.

Your eligibility depends on when your offense took place. The Legislature changed the laws in reference to nondisclosures and now there are two different applicable rules depending on when you offense date took place. If your offense occurred before September 1, 2015, the old statute applies. If your offense took place on or after September 1, 2015, click HERE for the new statute regarding Nondisclosures.

Offense dates PRIOR to September 1, 2015
You may be eligible for nondisclosure after you have successfully completed a “Deferred Adjudication Probation” for certain criminal offenses. Deferred adjudication is a type of probation that requires a guilty plea but the judge defers the finding of guilt pending the completion of the probation. If you complete it successfully, the case will be dismissed, but it will still show up that you were arrested, that you completed a deferred adjudication, and that the case was dismissed.

In misdemeanor cases, you are eligible for non-disclosure either immediately for some misdemeanors, or after two years after the end of your deferred adjudication. For felony cases, you must wait five years after the end of your probationary period.

If you had a final disposition of “guilty”resulting in incarceration or fines, you are NOT eligible for non-disclosure. In other words, if you did not successfully complete a deferred adjudication, you are unable to apply. Pleading guilty and paying a fine or doing a few days in county will keep you from being able to seal your records down the road.

Even with completing a deferred adjudication successfully, you still have to show the Court that the granting of the non-disclosure is in the “best interests of justice”. It is very important that you have stayed out of trouble as well. Picking up another case after your release from deferred adjudication may keep you from getting a non-disclosure granted. Even if you are falsely accused, many times an arrest after completing a deferred could possibly have a detrimental effect on whether you can get one granted. So, we advise that you immediately request a nondisclosure when you are eligible and not to wait. We have tremendous experience in knowing how to get these granted.

You also need to hire an attorney who has handled many petitions of nondisclosure and knows what they are doing. If the attorney who drafts up the order of nondisclosure and doesn’t include all the proper agencies with a record of your arrest, it can still show up on many background checks EVEN if it was granted. If this happens, it will be extremely costly and difficult to correct the records because the Court has already sealed them. Make sure you ask many questions during your consultation and see if they really know what they are doing. I’ve consulted with many potential clients that their records are still showing up after paying an attorney to do it or trying to do it themselves. They end up paying more than double to go back and fix the problem. If you are going to do it, make sure you hire someone that will do it correctly the first time or you will end up paying a lot more AND possibly ruining potential job opportunities

Houston Non-Disclosure Attorney

All qualifying felony offenses require a waiting period of five years after completion of the deferred adjudication before you can file a petition for non-disclosure.

Misdemeanor offenses that could qualify for an immediate Petition for Non-disclosure include:

  • Criminal Trespass
  • Failure to surrender identification to law enforcement
  • Gambling
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Burglarizing a Coin Operated Machine
  • Theft
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Fleeing arrest on foot
  • Prostitution
  • Obscenity

Misdemeanor offenses that require a two year waiting period prior to filing a Petition for Non-disclosure include:

  • Non-Family Assault
  • Polygamy
  • Deadly Conduct
  • Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Harassment
  • Lewdness in Public
  • Some Indecent Exposure cases
  • Rioting
  • Weapons Violations
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Obstructing an Emergency Phone Call

Some criminal offenses are NEVER eligible for a Petition for Non-disclosure, including:

  • Offenses with a child victim
  • Sexual Assault
  • Prohibited Sexual Conduct
  • Kidnapping or Unlawful Restraint
  • Compelling Prostitution
  • Violation of a Protective Order
  • Domestic Violence, Family Violence, Assault on a Family
  • Member Offenses
  • Murder
  • Attempt, Conspiracy or Solicitation to Commit any of the
  • Above Offenses

As a Houston Non-disclosure attorney, Henry K. Nguyen will complete the required Petition for Non-disclosure and present your case to the judge. If the judge grants the Non-disclosure, criminal justice agencies will be barred from disseminating information regarding your case to everyone except the government, law enforcement, and licensing agencies.

Under Texas law, some government agencies are permitted to obtain information about your criminal background. These agencies include boards that govern nursing and teaching, the Department of Licensing and Regulation and TABC. Other than the few exceptions such as these, your criminal history will be sealed and disappear from most background investigations. Through the Non-disclosure process you can omit disclosing your arrests on loan or employment applications and leases and deny it ever happened. If your criminal past is haunting you, contact the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. to find out more about clearing your name.

Offense dates AFTER to September 1, 2015

The Legislature changed the laws for Nondisclosures in Texas recently. There are two base requirements and then you must fit within one of five categories to be eligible.

The first base requirement is that you cannot have been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense (besides traffic) at any time after the sentence was pronounced through any applicable waiting period. So it is VERY important to make sure you do not pick up any new offenses.

The second base requirement is that the offense cannot be for any case involving:​

  • registration as a sex offender
  • any case involving family violence
  • murder
  • capital murder
  • aggravated kidnapping
  • trafficking of persons
  • continuous trafficking of persons
  • injury to a child, elderly, or disabled person
  • abandoning or endangering a child
  • violations of bond conditions in family violence cases
  • stalking

If your case meets those requirements, you must fall within one of these five categories in order to be eligible:

Category 1

      • You received a deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor not including:
        • kidnapping
        • unlawful restraint
        • indecent exposure
        • unlawful photography
        • assault
        • deadly conduct
        • terroristic threat
        • bigamy
        • enticing a child
        • criminal nonsupport
        • violation of protective order
        • disorderly conduct
        • harassment
        • animal cruelty
        • prostitution
        • sexting
        • unlawful carrying of a weapon
        • prohibited weapons
        • engaging in organized criminal activity
      • No prior criminal convictions or deferred adjudications (other than traffic violations)
      • There is a 180 day waiting period since being placed on deferred adjudication
      • No affirmative finding of disqualification for automatic nondisclosure

Category 2

      • You received a deferred adjudication and successfully completed it
      • You must wait the waiting period depending on the offense. Some misdemeanors have no waiting period, while others have a two year waiting period. All felonies have a five year waiting period.
      • You can have prior criminal history
      • You must show the granting of the nondisclosure is in the best interest of society

Category 3

      • You received a straight probation for an misdemeanor offense other than:
        • possession and/or consumption of alcohol to minors​
        • driving while intoxicated
        • flying while intoxicated
        • operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated
        • engaging in organized criminal activity
      • You successfully completed the probation
      • You must wait the waiting period depending on the offense. Some misdemeanors have no waiting period, while others have a two year waiting period.
      • You must show the granting of the nondisclosure is in the best interest of society
      • No prior criminal convictions or deferred adjudications (other than traffic violations)

Category 4

      • You received a jail time for an misdemeanor offense other than:
        • possession and/or consumption of alcohol to minors​
        • driving while intoxicated
        • flying while intoxicated
        • operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated
        • engaging in organized criminal activity
      • You must wait two years from the release from jail
      • You must show the granting of the nondisclosure is in the best interest of society
      • No prior criminal convictions or deferred adjudications (other than traffic violations)

Category 5

      • You received a straight probation for the offense of prostitution
      • You successfully completed the probation
      • You must show the granting of the nondisclosure is in the best interest of society AND that they committed the offense solely as a victim of human trafficking

The new statute is very convoluted, contact our office for a free consultation to see if you are eligible to seal your criminal records.

The Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C.

Criminal Defense Attorney

   1221 Studewood St Ste 105
Houston, TX 77008

   (713) 222-1800

   NguyenHenryK@yahoo.com

© 2019 by The Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen | Criminal Defense Attorney.