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Did you know that if you want to be a tow truck operator in Texas, you can’t have any former charges with alcohol, assault, homicide, or drugs? Or, if you want to sell used car parts, you can’t be charged with sexual crimes, stolen property, assault, or drugs? These two examples are just two out of thirty-three jobs that the state of Texas has placed limitations on due to an individual’s criminal history. If you or someone you know are tired of having their previous criminal charges limit your career options, having a criminal lawyer in Houston Texas, help you with a nondisclosure order is a great solution.
What Is a Nondisclosure Order?
A nondisclosure order is when the court seals a specific charge that an individual has received. This order stops most law enforcement, public agencies, and the courts from viewing the charge.
A nondisclosure order is a second chance.
An individual is eligible for a nondisclosure order under two main circumstances.
Deferred Adjudication Probation
Deferred adjudication probation is when an individual isn’t formally convicted but instead is on probation under the assumption that the case will be dismissed if he or she completes all the requirements.
Under this probation, the case will still be visible on their record as a dismissed case which is why a nondisclosure order is helpful to remove it altogether.
The exact same process applies to individuals who had deferred adjudication probation, but a judge discharged the individual early but successfully.
Individuals are also eligible if they have a conviction that they have pled guilty to, even if they have served jail time.
The requirements under this category are that the arrest must have occurred on or after Sept 1, 2015, and is a misdemeanor charge. In addition, the case can’t be related to alcohol and organized crime. Also, this must be their only case. Finally, it must be at least two years since the issue occurred.
Even with all these requirements, there are always exceptions, and every case is unique, which is why confirming with an attorney that nondisclosure is or isn’t an option is the best course of action.
File a Nondisclosure Order
The process of filing a nondisclosure order begins with deciding what type of nondisclosure order the individual needs to file. Then he or she would need to take their petition to where the courts had initially filed the original charge.
Types of Nondisclosure Orders
There are nine different types of nondisclosure orders.
The difference between the orders depends on the severity of the crime, how long ago the charges occurred, and if the individual has completed all programs. If you want more details about these orders, the information is in the government code.
Once the defendant decides what type of nondisclosure order they need to file, they will need to present the court with documents such as a copy of their judgment, a signed order that they finished probation, and any orders related to the court case.
No matter what type of order an individual needs to file, there are some main requirements all the applicants need to meet. The requirements are related to the individual’s charges and actions after the fact.
The court can’t seal some cases that include murder, trafficking, elder abuse, and more. But, again, there are rare circumstances where the courts can seal one of these charges. So if you or someone you know is struggling with one of these charges, a Houston aggravated assault lawyer can help you understand your options.
Another limitation is that if the charge is related to family violence, then the case can’t be sealed.
Another area of Texas law that has unique rules is with DWI charges. Individuals with a low-level DWI charge can look at getting the charge disclosed.
DWI cases have limitations on who can apply depending on the individual’s blood-alcohol level and how long ago the charges happened.
Especially with DWI cases, it can be helpful to hire a Houston DWI attorney that knows how to handle nondisclosure orders related to DWI charges.
Finally, for an individual’s case to be sealed, the individual couldn’t have committed another crime within the waiting period for their previous crime. The expectation to this is a minor speeding ticket or something that only resulted in a fine.
The result of a nondisclosure order is that the individual is no longer required to disclose the charge on job applications. As a result, the only individuals who can see the case’s existence are limited law enforcement and government agencies.
Another advantage is that individuals can’t apply for professional licenses if they have a criminal charge, so a nondisclosure form opens up this possibility. Another positive is that when individuals are renting or trying to get approval for a house, they no longer have to disclose the charge.
When looking at removing charges, there is an option called expungement or expunction. The concept of expungement is that individuals arrested wrongfully for a crime are entitled to remove the case from their record altogether.
An expungement is an excellent option for individuals who fit the criteria, but it doesn’t apply to most individuals struggling with criminal charges.
Thus, filing a nondisclosure order might be the best option, but a Houston criminal attorney would be able to direct a defendant on their best option.
Criminal Lawyer in Houston Texas
The role of a Houston criminal defense lawyer in the nondisclosure process is that they can help with every step.
The attorney can help their client identify the correct form of nondisclosure orders to file. Next, they can inform them of what documents he or she might need. Finally, the attorney could track down where their client needs to file the nondisclosure form.
Get a Recommendation
In the end, nondisclosure orders can be complicated. From trying to figure out if you qualify to picking the correct type of disclosure form, getting to the end goal can be difficult.
Yet, there is hope. There is a criminal lawyer in Houston Texas, who is ready to help. So, reach out for a consultation today.