Criminal Defense Attorney in Amarillo TX
Criminal defense attorney Janis Alexander Cross is highly experienced in legal matters concerning those with criminal records in Amarillo Texas and the surrounding areas.
Texas Order of Non-Disclosure
If you have been successful on deferred adjudication probation, you may be able to control future access to your record through an Order for Non-Disclosure. To qualify to have your case sealed under an order of non-disclosure, you must have been given deferred adjudication and successfully completed that probation period.
Once you have completed deferred adjudication community supervision under Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42.12 and the statutory waiting period for your offense has passed, you may be eligible to have your records sealed by petitioning the court for non-disclosure of your criminal records pursuant (Government Code 411.081(d)-(h)).
Once sealed, you may then legally and truthfully deny your criminal conviction. This order prohibits the government from disclosing your criminal conviction to the public and prevents a private entity that compiles and disseminates for compensation criminal record information from compiling or disseminating information that is covered by the order of non-disclosure. The State will be allowed to disclose information about the case to other criminal justice agencies for criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes or any agency or entity listed in Section 411.081(i) of the Government Code.
However, sealing a record is not the same as expunging a record. Sealing prevents the release of your record to the public; however, the record will stay available to the law enforcement community, the courts and to certain state agencies, such as most state licensing agencies. In any subsequent criminal proceeding, the information about the first offense can still be used against you.
What is an Order of Non-Disclosure?
An Order of Non-Disclosure is an order from the court effectively sealing your record from the public. It allows an individual to deny arrest or prosecution for which public information exists unless they are being prosecuted for a subsequent offense.
Benefits of a Texas Order of Non-Disclosure:
- You can tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime
- Become eligible for student loans
- Become eligible for housing assistance
- Become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates
- You can tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime
- No more fear or embarrassment when someone does a background check
Who is eligible?
You may qualify for an Order of Non-Disclosure if you satisfy the following requirements:
- You entered a plea of guilty or no contest; AND
- The judge deferred further proceedings against you and placed you on community supervision (probation) without a finding of guilt; AND
- You have been successfully discharged from community supervision; AND
- The case against you has been dismissed; AND
- You meet the required waiting period after completing your sentence or probation:
- No waiting period for most misdemeanors
- 2-year waiting period for misdemeanors under Penal Code Chapter 20 (kidnapping, unlawful restraint), Chapter 21 (sexual offenses), Chapter 22 (assaultive offenses, including deadly conduct), Chapter 25 (offenses against the family), Chapter 42 (disorderly related offenses), and Chapter 46 (weapons offenses) of the Penal Code.
- 5-year waiting period for all felonies.
- The time runs from the anniversary of the discharge and dismissal (so, if you got probation, it is from the time you finished probation! If you went to prison, it is from the date of the release from prison.).
Who is not eligible?
The following offenses are not eligible for sealing:
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Sex Offender
- Capital Murder
- Injury to children, elderly, or disabled individuals
- Child abandonment or endangerment
- Family violence
What is the process?
Contact criminal defense attorney Janis Alexander Cross today!
Once you hire us, a criminal defense attorney will file a Petition for Non-Disclosure with the court and a request a hearing to be held to determine if an Order of Non-Disclosure can be granted in your case. We will prepare all of the documents for you and deliver them ready to be signed, notarized and then filed with the courts. We will attend the hearing and guide you through the process.
What happens if the court grants it?
Many Texas agencies are forbidden from disclosing the information to the public. The records are eventually sealed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, who maintains the database of criminal records in Texas. This typically takes up to one (1) month after the DPS receives the Court’s order to seal the records.
After an Order of Non-Disclosure is granted, entities such as PublicData.com or other background checking sites can be fined for releasing the information. The DPS will move your records to a secure area, so that public background reporting sites will not have access to them.
Please be aware that a criminal justice agency can still disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an Order of Non-Disclosure to the non-criminal justice agencies or entities identified in Section 411.081(i) of the Government Code. Therefore, if you are pulled over for a traffic offense, the officer will still be able to see your criminal history.
A criminal justice agency may still disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an Order of nondisclosure to the following noncriminal justice agencies or entities only:
- State Board for Education Certification
- Texas Education Agency
- School district, charter school, private school, commercial transportation company, or education shared service arrangement
- Texas Medical Board
- Texas School of the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Board of Law Examiners
- State Bar of Texas
- State District Court, regarding a petition for a name change
- Texas School for the Deaf
- Department of Family and Protective Services
- Texas Youth Commission
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
- 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;
- Texas Private Security Board
- Municipal or Volunteer Fire Department
- Board of Nursing
- Safe house providing shelter to children
- Public or Nonprofit Hospital or Hospital District
- Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
- Securities Commissioner, banking commissioner, savings and loan commissioner, or the credit union commissioner
- Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
- Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
- Health and Human Services Commission; and
- Department of Aging and Disability Services
- Guardianship Certification Board; and
- A county clerk’s office in relation to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian under Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code
The court’s order will be sent to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety will then send the order to all law enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political subdivision of this state, and to all central federal depositories of criminal records that there is reason to believe have criminal history record information that is the subject of the order. Those entities are obliged not to disclose the deferred adjudication record information to anyone other than:
- Other criminal justice agencies
- For criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes
- An agency or entity listed in Section 411.081(i) of the Government Code, as set out above
- The person who is the subject of the Order
Benefits of Choosing Criminal Defense Attorney Janis Cross to help you:
- You will be represented by a lawyer with 35 years of experience
- Personalized payments plans available and all major credit cards accepted
- Fastest possible results
- We serve ALL of Texas, as well as out-of-state residents who have Texas criminal records
- Filing fees are not marked up in our fee structure – you pay the amount of court costs that the court actually charges.
- One call starts the process: 806-322-7777
- We will write letters to potential employers explaining your case, if necessary. – At no additional charge!
This article is not intended to be legal advice and is not a substitute for legal representation by an attorney. You are encouraged to seek the advice of criminal defense attorney Janis Alexander Cross to answer any specific legal questions you may have.