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If you cannot get your record expunged, you may still be able to petition for non-disclosure. This effectively seals off all record of your arrest, probation, and conviction from the public record. Law enforcement, licensing boards, and several other specific agencies can still request access to these records under very specific circumstances.
However, if someone were to run a background check on you, all records of your arrest, prosecution, and conviction would be sealed and invisible. The purpose of non-disclosure is to hide a successfully completed deferred adjudication or conviction for certain offenses from a public record. For more information on non-disclosure cases, speak with a distinguished expunction lawyer immediately.
Non-Disclosure Following Deferred Adjudication
The deferred adjudication process involves a judge deferring (delaying) judgment on someone’s case until a series of court-ordered conditions are completed. These may include a period of probation and its required terms, community service, and—depending on the charge—education classes and treatment.
This is called community supervision because it is as though the community is watching over the individual to test whether or not they can be a responsible member of society. After completing part of the community supervision time, the judge will review their case, behavior, and the progress that has made.
Understanding the Role of a Judge
The judge may decide to discharge someone early from community supervision and, at that time, the individual’s term of deferred adjudication will be considered successfully completed. If an individual has missed appointments and classes, failed drug tests, or have delinquent fines, the term of community supervision will continue.
By the time someone successfully completes this term, the judge will again review someone’s performance and discharge them from community supervision, then set aside their conviction. An individual can walk away from the incident without a conviction, but someone’s record will still show their arrest, the investigation that followed, and their term of deferred adjudication.
What is Deferred Adjudication?
Deferred adjudication means someone was found guilty as charged but given a chance to prove yourself a responsible member of society. The black mark is that you were proven guilty and this will follow you as long as it is visible on your record. If you have successfully completed deferred adjudication, you are entitled to be able to walk away from the poor judgment call that landed you in the system.
Non-disclosure will seal off your records from employers, landlords, lenders, colleges and universities, and most other people and entities that would run a background check on you. That means you can meet your date for coffee and rest assured she knows nothing of your brief criminal history. You can deny your arrest and conviction ever occurred and get on with your life.
Non-Disclosure Following a Conviction
HB 3016, a new law effective September 1, 2017, expands the opportunity to petition non-disclosure to individuals convicted of certain minor, nonviolent misdemeanors, such as a DWI. Individuals convicted of a first-offense DWI, for example, can petition for non-disclosure after observing sentence conditions for a designated amount of time. Being convicted of a second or third-offense DWI’s, family violence, an offense requiring sex offender registration, and other violent acts exclude an individual from being able to petition non-disclosure.