Waiting Periods on Misdemeanor Non-Disclosures

If you read my older blog entry on Non-Disclosures, you know that a non-disclosure is a type of sealing of a record for an adult who successfully completed Deferred Adjudication.  On a deferred adjudication the case is dismissed upon completion, there is never a conviction, and the arrest record can be partially non-disclosed to the general public (but not the government or law enforcement). 

The reason you need a non-disclosure is because if someone does a background check on you they will be able to see that you pled guilty, were giving deferred adjudication, and your case was dismissed.  The problem with that is that anyone who knows anything about the law is going to know that you pled guilty, and that the case was only dismissed because you did probation.  This can be a problem when you are applying for jobs, schools, apartments, etc.  So Non-Disclosures are very important for your record.  The problem is the rules are confusing.

I get a lot of calls about Non-Disclosures and what the waiting periods are before you are eligible to proceed.  On a felony case, if your case is eligible, you have to wait 5 years after you finish your deferred adjudication.  You will be eligible after the 5 years as long as you have not been convicted of another crime before you file your petition for non-disclosure.

Misdemeanors are a little different.  Some misdemeanors are eligible immediately, meaning you can try to get a non-disclosure the day after your deferred adjudication completion is official.  But there are other cases that you are not eligible to file your petition until 2 years after the day that your case gets dismissed.

There are the cases the misdemeanor charges that carry a 2 year waiting period before you can get a non-disclosure:

  • Abuse of Corpse
  • Advertising for placement of child
  • Aiding suicide
  • Assault
  • Bigamy
  • Cruelty to Animals
  • Deadly Conduct
  • Destruction of Flag
  • Discharge of Firearm
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Disrupting meeting or procession
  • Dog Fighting
  • False Alarm or Report
  • Harassment
  • Harboring runaway child
  • Hoax Bombs
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Interference with Emergency Telephone Call
  • Leaving a Child in a Vehicle
  • Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child
  • Obstructing Highway or Other Passageway
  • Possession, Manufacture, Transport, Repair, or Sale of Switchblade Knife or Knuckles
  • Public Lewdness
  • Riot
  • Silent or Abusive Calls to 911 Service
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon
  • Unlawful Possession of Firearm
  • Unlawful restraint
  • Unlawful transfer of certain weapons
  • Violation of protective order preventing offense caused by bias or prejudice 

So if you were charged with any of these crimes you are not allowed to apply for the non-disclosure for 2 years.  If your crime is not listed then it is immediately eligible (unless it’s one of the types of crimes that is never eligible – see my past blog on non-disclosures for a list of those).

If after reading this you are still confused, please feel free to give me a call and I will give you a more personal consultation.

Eric Benavides
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Eric Benavides

Criminal Defense Attorney at Benavides & Serrano
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorny and immigration lawyer.He is one of the co-founders of Benavides and Serrano.He is a member of the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and is licensed to practice law in the state by the Supreme Court of Texas and federally by the Southern District of Texas.
Eric Benavides
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