Sealing your past criminal record so it is not accessible for public inspection is called an Order of Non-Disclosure. A Non-Disclosure Order prevents the release of your criminal prosecution and criminal arrest records to the general public, for example schools, employers, credit agencies and your landlord. While law enforcement and government agencies will still have access to your full criminal background, private institutions will not.
Having a clean criminal record is important for those who are looking for employment, education opportunities and applying for loans. While a non-disclosure doesn’t wipe out your past mistakes or clear up your record, it does make it unavailable to the general public.
You may file for non-disclosure if you:
- Pled guilty or no contest to a Class A or B misdemeanor or felony
- Completed deferred adjudication probation
- Waited the appropriate length of time since your case was dismissed
The waiting period for felonies is five years from the date of dismissal. For most misdemeanors, the waiting period is two years.
Record Sealing for Juveniles
The State of Texas allows the majority of juvenile criminal records to be sealed. You should hire an experienced non-disclosure attorney to file a motion to those juvenile records sealed.
Universities, potential employers, and the military all do criminal background checks on applicants. Having these records sealed ensures that your or your child’s juvenile records don’t show up on criminal background checks.
A juvenile isn’t required to be sentenced to adjudication probation. Even if a juvenile is convicted of a crime, a juvenile’s criminal record can be sealed as long as he or she:
- Wasn’t tried as an adult.
- Did not receive a determinate sentence
- Is not currently registered as a sex offender.
Young people have their entire lives to look forward to. Let’s not let one mistake as a crazy teenager ruin your or your child’s future.
The Law Firm of Trent Loftin can fully review your case and work with you to select the best option for you. It is important to understand that not all offenses are eligible for non-disclosure. In addition, there may be a waiting period before you can petition the court. The best way to start taking back control of your criminal history is to start the process now.