The biggest mistake a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney can make is telling their clients after a deferred adjudication probation, that their record is clean. Deferred adjudication is a type of probation where your case is dismissed if you finish the probation successfully. So it is true that you do not have a conviction…BUT THE ARREST RECORD REMAINS VISIBLE TO EVERYONE!
The problem with deferred adjudication is that everyone who works in HR departments understands that you pled guilty to be placed on deferred, and the only reason that your case was dismissed was because you did probation. To employers, apartment complexes, and schools, that dismissal is the same thing as a conviction. They don’t care that you have a piece of paper saying that your record is clean. In order to seal your record after you finish deferred, you need to file a motion for non-disclosure.
A motion for non-disclosure does not completely wipe your record clean, it will still be visible to governmental agencies and law enforcement, but THE GENERAL PUBLIC WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE RECORD!
Apartments, schools, and public jobs will no longer see that you were arrested, thus making your life less stressful. In order to be eligible you must have finished your deferred adjudication probation. With some misdemeanors you must wait two years after you finish probation to file for the non-disclosure. Other types of misdemeanors allow you to file immediately upon completion of the probation (some judges has rules that you must wait a certain amount of time depending on the type of crime. Call a local Criminal Lawyer in Houston to get a more personal evaluation). HOWEVER, IF YOU WERE ON DEFERRED FOR A FELONY YOU MUST WAIT FIVE YEARS AFTER YOU COMPLETE YOUR DEFERRED ADJUDICATION PROBATION BEFORE YOU CAN FILE.
There is always one big catch. You are NOT ELIGIBLE TO A NON-DISCLOSURE if you have been previously convicted of or placed on probation for any of the following:
- Sexual performance by a child
- Possession of production of child pornography
- Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping of anyone under the age of 17
- Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these listed offenses
- Capital murder
- Indecency with a child
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Prohibited sexual conduct (incest)
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Compelling prostitution
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Violation of protective order or magistrate’s order
- Burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit any of the above offenses
- Any other offense involving family violence
You also will not be eligible to get a non-disclosure if you were convicted of another crime after you finished your deferred adjudication! I know it is confusing, so if you have any questions, find a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney that is willing to assist you.