Process for Sealing Adult Criminal Records through Nondisclosure Orders

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Completion of deferred adjudication probation does not automatically seal your record. You must file a “Petition of Non-Disclosure” to get your record (“rap sheet”) sealed. Eligibility for obtaining an order is detailed and varies according to the type of offense and outcome; see Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Texas: Nondisclosure Orders for eligibility criteria. Each case is different and will be decided individually by the Court.

Your first step is to obtain a fingerprint card and a copy of your criminal record. You can arrange to get your fingerprint card from L-1 Enrollment Services (get at least 2 copies). You can contact them at: (888) 467-2080 or You can obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS). They can be reached at: (512) 424-2478 or

Once you have your fingerprint cards and criminal record, go to the clerk of the court that gave the deferred adjudication probation. The clerk will give you information regarding the processes and procedures of sealing in the county, plus the necessary forms (“Petition for Non-Disclosure” and “Order for Non-Disclosure”).

Fill out and submit the “Petition for Non-Disclosure” to the District Court. Fill out the “Order for Non-Disclosure” and submit it to a judge for his or her signature. This may occur in one of two ways: (1) the District Attorney may sign off on your proposed order and the Judge countersigns; or (2) the Judge holds a hearing. If granted, the court will sign the order and Texas DPS and other public agencies are instructed and prohibited from disseminating information about your criminal record to the public. If the Judge denies the Petition, ask the clerk of the court why.

For more articles on the Texas expunction process, click on the following:

Overview of Texas Criminal Expunction and Record Sealing

Clearing Your Adult Criminal Record (Expunction) in Texas

Process for Expunging Adult Criminal Arrest Records in Texas

Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Texas: Nondisclosure Orders

Sealing or Expunging Juvenile Criminal Records in Texas

Process for Sealing or Expunging Juvenile Records in Texas

Automatic Restriction of Access to Juvenile Criminal Records in Texas

Do I Need an Attorney in Texas to File a Petition for Expunction or to Seal My Criminal Records?

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