Motions for Nondisclosure of a Criminal Record in Texas

There is a procedure available in Texas which is short of Expunction, but which limits the disclosure of a criminal record to law enforcement agencies only.

A person placed on Deferred Adjudication probation who is discharged after having successfully completed the term of community supervision may be eligible to petition the supervising court to order criminal justice agencies not to disclose the public criminal history record information related to the offense giving rise to the deferred adjudication.

In Texas, Deferred Adjudication is a term of community supervision imposed without a finding of guilt by the court. The defendant is later discharged without a final conviction upon successfully completing the terms and conditions of community supervision. It is distinguished from probation, as probation involves a final conviction and is not able to be expunged or nondisclosed.

There is no time period for filing a Motion for Nondisclosure of Criminal Record in most misdemeanor cases. Felonies have a 5 year wait after discharge by the court. Offenses involving family violence and sex offenses are not eligible for nondisclosure.

Most courts require a hearing, and rule on each case on its own individual merits. I do many of these for younger offenders who need clean records to go to school or find good jobs. It is such a good idea that I am surprised that our Legislature passed it.