The law regarding petitions for nondisclosure is located in Texas Government Code 481.081.
Upon successful completion of deferred adjudication, a person may petition the court who placed the person on deferred adjudication to order that the record of the arrest and probation be sealed. Generally, these records may still be accessed by law enforcement, but may not be disclosed to others not in law enforcement.
This page has not been updated to reflect the significant changes in the non-disclosure law that went into effect in 2016.
After proper notice to the State, the court will consider 1) whether the petitioner is statutorily eligible, and 2) whether issuance of a nondisclosure order is in the best interest of justice. The statute provides the court with some discretion to deny a nondisclosure, even if the petitioner is statutorily eligible.
Ineligibility for Nondisclosure
The court may not grant a nondisclosure if during the period of deferred adjudication, the petitioner for deferred was convicted or placed on community supervision during the period of deferred adjudication. Courts are not permitted to grant non-disclosures for some offenses and persons. If the petitioner for nondisclosure has ever been convicted, or was put on deferred for the following offenses, then they are not eligible for have the deferred adjudication record sealed by order of non-disclosure:
- Any offense requiring registration as a sex offender
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Murder, Capital Murder
- Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Person
- Abandoning or Endangering a Child
- Violation of a Protective Order
- Any offense involving family violence
For most misdemeanor offenses, the person is eligible for a nondisclosure upon the completion of the deferred adjudication. The statute provides for a waiting period in some cases.
- Two Years – Misdemeanor Penal Code Offenses under Chapter 20 (Kidnapping, Unlawful Restraint), Chapter 21(Sexual Offenses), Chapter 22 (Assaultive Offenses), Chapter 25 (Offenses Against the Family), Chapter 42 (Disorderly Conduct Related Offenses), Chapter 46 (Weapons Offenses)
- Five Years – All felonies
The statute provides that certain non-law enforcement agencies may have access to sealed records. These are listed in the statute:
1. the State Board for Educator Certification;
2. a school district, charter school, private school, regional education service center, commercial transportation company, or education shared service arrangement;
3. the Texas Medical Board;
4. the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired;
5. the Board of Law Examiners;
6. the State Bar of Texas;
7. a district court regarding a petition for name change under Subchapter B, Chapter 45, Family Code;
8. the Texas School for the Deaf;
9. the Department of Family and Protective Services;
10. the Texas Youth Commission;
11. the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services;
12. the Department of State Health Services, a local mental health service, a local mental retardation authority, or a community center providing services to persons with mental illness or retardation;
13. the Texas Private Security Board;
14. a municipal or volunteer fire department;
15. the Texas Board of Nursing;
16. a safe house providing shelter to children in harmful situations;
17. a public or nonprofit hospital or hospital district;
18. the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission;
19. the securities commissioner, the banking commissioner, the savings and mortgage lending commissioner, the consumer credit commissioner, or the credit union commissioner;
20. the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy;
21. the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;
22. the Health and Human Services Commission;
23. the Department of Aging and Disability Services;
24. the Texas Education Agency;
25. the Guardianship Certification Board;
26. a county clerk’s office in relation to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian under Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code;
27. the Department of Information Resources but only regarding an employee, applicant for employment, contractor, subcontractor, intern, or volunteer who provides network security services under Chapter 2059 to:
28. the Department of Information Resources; or
29. a contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Information Resources;
30. the Court Reporters Certification Board;
31. the Texas Department of Insurance
32. the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
The records may also appear on federal background checks for jobs, permits, or licenses.
This page was updated May 2, 2014.