If you don’t qualify for an expunction, don’t worry because you might be able to seal your criminal record with a petition for non-disclosure. The purpose of a non-disclosure is to protect certain qualified individuals from the adverse consequences of past wrongdoings.
Cases Are Not Automatically Sealed
Let’s say you were put on deferred adjudication, successfully completed deferred, and ultimately had your case dismissed. Would you imagine, then, that your criminal/ arrest record associated with that case be public or hidden? The answer is public. Your criminal record is not automatically sealed upon completion of deferred adjudication. To seal your criminal background after deferred, you will need to file a petition for non-disclosure.
Non-Disclosure Makes Records Unavailable to Public
While a non-disclosure doesn’t wipe your slate clean like an expunction would, your criminal record will be unavailable to the general public following the grant of a non-disclosure. You can petition for a non-disclosure under the following circumstances: plead guilty or no contest to a Class A or B misdemeanor or felony, successfully completed deferred adjudication, or waited the appropriate time since when your case was dismissed. The waiting period for felonies is five years from the date of dismissal, and the waiting period for most misdemeanors is two years.