Process for Sealing Adult Criminal Records through Nondisclosure Orders
Completion of deferred adjudication probation does not automatically seal your record. You must file a "Petition of Non-Disclosure" to get your record ("rap sheet") sealed. Eligibility for obtaining an order is detailed and varies according to the type of offense and outcome; see Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Texas: Nondisclosure Orders for eligibility criteria. Each case is different and will be decided individually by the Court.
Your first step is to obtain a fingerprint card and a copy of your criminal record. You can arrange to get your fingerprint card from L-1 Enrollment Services (get at least 2 copies). You can contact them at: (888) 467-2080 or http://www.l1enrollment.com/state/?st=tx. You can obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS). They can be reached at: (512) 424-2478 or http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/pages/index.htm.
Once you have your fingerprint cards and criminal record, go to the clerk of the court that gave the deferred adjudication probation. The clerk will give you information regarding the processes and procedures of sealing in the county, plus the necessary forms ("Petition for Non-Disclosure" and "Order for Non-Disclosure").
Fill out and submit the "Petition for Non-Disclosure" to the District Court. Fill out the "Order for Non-Disclosure" and submit it to a judge for his or her signature. This may occur in one of two ways: (1) the District Attorney may sign off on your proposed order and the Judge countersigns; or (2) the Judge holds a hearing. If granted, the court will sign the order and Texas DPS and other public agencies are instructed and prohibited from disseminating information about your criminal record to the public. If the Judge denies the Petition, ask the clerk of the court why.
For more articles on the Texas expunction process, click on the following: