What is a nondisclosure order?
A nondisclosure order is a court order prohibiting public entities such as courts and police departments from disclosing certain criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you may benefit from obtaining such an order. You are not required to disclose information related to an offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.
Please note that a nondisclosure order applies to a particular criminal offense. The order does not apply to all offenses that may be on your criminal history record, but you may obtain multiple orders of nondisclosure for multiple offenses.
As mentioned above, a nondisclosure order prohibits entities holding information about a certain offense on your criminal history record from disclosing that information. This is a general rule. There are exceptions. Certain state agencies may still obtain information concerning an offense that is the subject of a nondisclosure order.
Please click the link below for more an overview of nondisclosures in Texas.
The information, instructions, and forms provided in this resource assume that you have:
- Determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements to get a nondisclosure order AND
- Identified the type of nondisclosure, if any, that applies to your specific offense.
Section 411.0728 nondisclosures in detail
This section is only for persons wishing to obtain a nondisclosure order for an offense solely on the ground that the person was a victim of human trafficking.
This section can only seal records for the following offenses:
- Marijuana possession (Penal Code 481.121)
- Delivery of marijuana (Penal Code 481.120)
- Theft under $500 (Penal Code 31.03)
- Prostitution (Penal Code 43.02)
Additionally, although the offense may have occurred before or after September 1, 2015, the order that sets aside the conviction must have occurred after September 1, 2015.
Obtaining a nondisclosure under Section 411.0728 - Procedure
- The court must make a determination that you committed the offense solely as a victim of trafficking of persons and that issuance of the nondisclosure order is in the best interest of justice.
- The forms and instructions for filing a petition under Section 411.0728 are available below.
- You do not have to pay the clerk to notify the prosecutor of your petition.
- Under Section 411.0745(e), Government Code, the court must notify the prosecutor.
- Additionally, you do not have to pay the court to notify law enforcement of the order of nondisclosure, if the court issues an order.
- Under Section 411.075, Government Code, the clerk must notify the Crime Records Service Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety (hereinafter “DPS”) of the order of nondisclosure, and DPS must notify the other law enforcement agencies and entities listed in the statute.
What happens after the court grants me an Order of Nondisclosure?
The clerk will send a copy of the nondisclosure order to DPS. DPS will then send the nondisclosure order to a number of other government agencies.
You may also want to tell private background-check companies to remove your record from their databases. One way to do this is to contact the Foundation for Continuing Justice at www.continuingjustice.org.
Forms and Instructions Below
NOTE: It is a good idea to have a lawyer review your forms before you file or send them to ensure you have taken the right steps in the legal system. Please click the link below for information on limited scope representation for information on a good way to contact a lawyer for help.
Please see the forms and instructions for this type of order of nondisclosure directly below.
Click here for guided forms (recommended).
Click here for PDF forms.
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