Throughout human history, this universal truth rings true: mistakes are inevitable. At AZ Law Firm, our Austin Criminal Lawyers believe we all have the right to a second chance. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to file a petition for non-disclosure to bar agencies from disclosing your criminal history.
What does a Non-Disclosure order do?
Part of your criminal record is sealed when a non-disclosure order goes into effect. The order effectively seals the offense record, including arrest paperwork, offense reports, booking photos, fingerprint cards, jail paperwork, court paperwork, probation papers, and all other documentation about the offense from everyone except specific state agencies.
Additionally, if needed to comply with a federal law requirement or if conditional federal highway funds are at stake, the state will disclose criminal history that is the subject of non-disclosure to federal agencies.
However, private companies will not discover the offense on background checks. Meaning, once a non-disclosure is in effect, you do not have to share the undisclosed offense on job or housing applications.
Crimes Ineligible to Petition for Non-Disclosure
First, there are several crimes that, if convicted of, are ineligible to be undisclosed. If an individual has a conviction of any of the following crimes, they may not seek an order of non-disclosure, including:
- capital murder
- injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
- abandoning or endangering a child
- violation of magistrate’s order or protective order
- sexual assault
- aggravated sexual assault
- prohibited sexual conduct (incest)
- indecency with a child
- aggravated kidnapping
- burglary of a habitation with intent to commit any of the above offenses
- compelling prostitution
- sexual performance by a child
- promotion or possession of child pornography
- unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping of a person younger than 17 years old
- attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above offenses
- Any other offense involving family violence
Mandatory Waiting Periods
By law, varying waiting periods are ascribed to qualifying crimes before individuals may petition for non-disclosure. All qualifying felonies require a waiting period of five years before a petition for non-disclosure may be filed.
The following are misdemeanor offenses that require a waiting period of two years before a petition for non-disclosure may be filed:
- lewdness in public
- indecent exposure (in certain situations)
- terroristic threat
- obstructing an emergency phone call
- non-family assault
- deadly conduct
- unlawful discharge of a firearm
- disorderly conduct
The following are misdemeanor offenses that could qualify immediately (with no waiting period) to petition for non-disclosure:
- resisting arrest
- feeling arrest on foot
- criminal trespass
- failure to surrender identification to law enforcement
- possession of marijuana
- burglarizing a coin-operated machine
Can a judge deny a petition for Non-Disclosure?
Yes, except for specific misdemeanors, a judge may deny your petition for non-disclosure. Our Austin criminal lawyers will argue that a petition of non-disclosure is in the best interest of justice. The Court will deny your petition in the following circumstances:
- it is not believed to be in the best interest of justice
- incorrect information is supplied on the petition
- the offense isn’t or isn’t yet eligible
Additionally, retaining out Austin criminal lawyers ensures petitions of non-disclosures are drafted correctly, and proper evidence is included, increasing the odds of the Court granting your order. We’re here to help put the past behind you; contact us for a free consultation.
To find out how we can help you, contact Austin Criminal Lawyers at 512-400-7070 or send us a message. We will schedule an initial client consultation to review your case details and lay out a game plan for your case in Texas. AZ Law Firm will pursue the legal action necessary to secure the fairest possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
- evaluating and explaining to you the pros and cons of your individual case
- discussing with you any available options and our proposed strategies as it relates to your case
- providing guidance and recommendations regarding any proposed settlement offer
- quickly and effectively communicating with you during each step of the process so that you are not left in the dark
- taking your case solely on a contingent fee basis
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Call us and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, our Austin Criminal Lawyers will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.