Nondisclosure of Criminal Records in Texas apply to Deferred Adjudication

Texas Motions for Nondisclosure are only available to those who have been granted Deferred Adjudication by a Texas judge. Deferred Adjudication means that a judge will defer, or put off, finding the defendant guilty and will place him on probation or community supervision for a period of time. Deferred Adjudications are not expungable. They can only be nondisclosed; that is, be made unavailable to any entity other than law enforcement. This requires that a Motion for Nondisclosure be filed and usually involves a hearing in front of the convicting court.

Motions for Nondisclosure of Criminal Records became necessary as a response to the barrage of internet sites whose purpose was to make criminal records available to the general public. For many years before the internet explosion, the average client, as well as his lawyer, was secure in the assumption that upon successful completion of deferred adjudication any record would remain private. Some even mistakenly believed that an individual who had completed deferred was eligible for expunction of the arrest and conviction.

Unfortunately, this was not the case, and with the onslaught of internet providers,such records formerly kept hidden away in the courthouse were being placed on internet sites, and thus became easily available to potential employers, apartment complexes, schools, and even little league sports organizations doing background checks on potential coaches or volunteers.

With the support of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a bill was finally passed by the Texas Legislature addressing the disclosure problems brought on by the internet age. The original bill has since been amended to shorten waiting periods for felony deferred adjudication, and to allow most misdemeanors to be nondisclosed immediately upon successful discharge of the deferred sentence.