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Disclaimer: This document includes both a guide to the process and free forms (petition, etc.

) that can be
used in a do-it-yourself way to get your criminal record expunged or sealed. Hopefully, reading through it from
start to finish will help you to understand how this process works in Texas and you will be able to get your
criminal record removed from public view. These forms and this guide are provided as a public service by their
copyright owner, Michael Lowe, who is a Board Certified Criminal Defense law practicing in Dallas, Texas.
However, you are not forming any kind of attorney-client relationship with him here. It is hoped that you can
understand and fill these forms out without the need for a lawyer. If you have a few simple questions, then you
may be able to get answers at no cost to you by calling the clerk of the court where you were convicted.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO SEAL YOUR TEXAS CRIMINAL RECORD
To determine whether you are eligible to have your criminal record(s) sealed in Texas, please answer
the following questions:
I. EXCLUDED OFFENSES
1. Have you ever been placed on probation or convicted for an offense that requires you to
register as a sex offender?
2. Have you ever been placed on probation or convicted for any of the following?
• Aggravated Kidnapping
• Violation of a Protective Order
• Stalking
• Murder
• Capital Murder
• Manslaughter
3. Have you ever been placed on probation for or convicted of an offense involving family
violence? (i.e. Assault against spouse, live-in girlfriend/boyfriend, sibling etc.)
If you answered YES to any of the above, you are not eligible for a Petition For Non Disclosure.
II. DEFERRED ADJUDICATION
What is deferred adjudication? Deferred Adjudication is a non-conviction type of probation.
That is, if you finish your probation, there is no conviction and your case was dismissed. If you
are not sure whether you had a deferred adjudication probation or a regular (conviction type)
probation, contact the court and ask for a copy of the judgment and sentence for your case. The
judgment or sentence will state what type of probation you received.
1. Did you receive deferred adjudication probation?
2. Did you successfully complete the deferred adjudication probation?
3. Was your case dismissed upon your successful completion of probation?
If you answered YES to all three above questions, please continue.
If you answered NO, you are not eligible.
III. MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY
Was your case a misdemeanor or felony? If your case was a misdemeanor, then please continue
to Part IV. If your case was a Felony, please continue to Part V.
IV. MISDEMEANOR CASES:
If your misdemeanor case was not one of the following, then you can have it sealed immediately.
If your case was a misdemeanor and it was one of the following, then go to the next question.
• Homosexual Conduct
• Assault
• Aiding Suicide
• Deadly Conduct
• Terroristic Threat
• Leaving a Child in a Vehicle
• Bigamy
• Harboring a Runaway
• Violation of a Protective Order
• Advertising For Placement of a Child
• Disorderly Conduct
• Riot
• False Alarm or Report
• Indecent Exposure
• Interference With Emergency Telephone Call
• Possession, manufacture, transport, repair or sale of switchblade knife or knuckles
• Public Lewdness
• Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun by a License Holder
• Unlawful Carrying Weapons
• Unlawful Possession of Firearm
• Unlawful Restraint
• Obstruction of a Passageway or Highway
• Disrupting Meeting or Procession
• Abuse to 9-1-1 service
• Harassment
• Stalking
• Abuse of a Corpse
• Cruelty to Animals
• Attack on Assistance Animal
• Dog Fighting
• Destruction of Flag
• Discharge of Firearm in a Municipality
• Use of Laser Pointers
• Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons
• Hoax Bombs
• Making a Firearm Accessible To a Child
If your misdemeanor deferred adjudication was one of the above, then were you placed on
probation or did you receive a conviction for any type of offense (other than traffic tickets) in the
two years following the date you were discharged from your misdemeanor deferred adjudication
probation?
If no, and it has been at least two years FROM THE DATE YOU WERE DISCHARGED
(FINISHED) YOUR DEFERRED ADJUDCIATION PROBATION, you are eligible.
If yes, then you will not be eligible.
V. FELONY CASES:
Were you placed on probation or did you receive a conviction for any type of offense (other than
traffic tickets) in the five years following the date you were discharged from your felony deferred
adjudication?
If no, and it has been at least five years FROM THE DATE YOU WERE DISCHARGED
(FINISHED) YOUR DEFERRED ADJUDCIATION PROBATION, you are eligible.
If YES, then you will not be eligible.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PETITIONS FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS
1. Fill out your Petition. All “grey” text field regions must be filled out! After completing all text
fields, sign your Petition and have it notarized.
2. Locate the address to the District Clerk=s Office or the County Clerk=s Office of where your case
originally arose. Go to http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/bvs/registra/address.htmto find the correct
District Clerk or County Clerk=s address information. [IF YOUR CASE WAS A
MISDEMEANOR, CONTACT THE COUNTY CLERK=S OFFICE. IF YOUR CASE WAS A
FELONY, CONTACT THE DISTRICT CLERK=S OFFICE.]
3. Contact the Clerk=s Office to find out what the filing fee is in that particular county. (You must
do this, because the filing fees vary greatly from county to county.) Go to
http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/bvs/registra/address.htm to find the correct District Clerk or County
Clerk=s phone number.
4. File or mail Petition for Non-Disclosure and the Cover Letter and enclose a check for the
appropriate filing fee amount due to the District or County Clerk=s Office. Make sure you include
the correct number of copies and a self-addressed and stamped envelope so the court can return a
file-stamped copy of your Petition.
5. When you receive the file stamped copy back, check the Fiat to find out what date the Court has
set your Petition for Non-Disclosure for a hearing.
6. Once you have a hearing date set, contact District Attorney=s office. (The District Clerk will give
you their phone number.) Find the prosecutor who handles Petitions For Non-Disclosure and ask
them whether they will agree to seal the record.
7. If the prosecutor agrees to seal, then request that the prosecutor notify the court in writing that
there is an agreement to expunge.
8. Have the prosecutor sign the proposed order to seal your criminal record.
9. If the prosecutor agrees to seal and sign the proposed order, submit the order for the judge=s
approval and signature. Usually the prosecutor will do this for you.
10. If the prosecutor will not agree to seal, you must attend the hearing on the date set by the court.
11. During the hearing make sure that everything is recorded by the court reporter. REQUEST A
CONTINUANCE IF THERE IS NO COURT REPORTER. Make sure you state on the record all
of the reasons that you are eligible to have your record seal. You must also state why you believe
it in the Abest interest of justice@ that your record be sealed. If you are not sure, bring a copy of
the petition you filed and read into the court=s record all of the reasons you feel that you qualify to
have your record sealed.
TODAY'S DATE
NAME OF CLERK
ADDRESS OF CLERK
ADDRESS OF CLERK
CITY, STATE ZIP
Re: Petition for Nondisclosure of Records – NAME OF PETITIONER
Dear Clerk:
Enclosed please find an original and four copies of the above-mentioned petition, along with
an order, for your convenience, setting a hearing date and a check in the amount of $ AMOUNT OF
MONEY. Please file stamp one of the copies and return it to me, along with the Order once a
hearing date has been set, in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope.
If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for
your assistance in this matter.
Sincerely,
NAME OF PETITIONER
Enclosures
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 1
CAUSE NO. _____________
EX PARTE ' IN THE COUNTY CRIMINAL
' COURT #COURT NUMBER
' [OR]
VS. ' COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT
NAME OF PETITIONER AT TIME OF OFFENSE ' COUNTY COUNTY, TEXAS
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF THIS COURT:
Pursuant to Section 411.081 of the Government Code, NAME OF PETITIONER AT TIME
OF OFFENSE, Petitioner, petitions the Court to order the non-disclosure of all records and files
relating to an offense giving rise to a deferred adjudication, and in support of this petition shows:
I.
Petitioner is a RACE SEX whose full name is NAME OF PETITIONER AT TIME OF
OFFENSE. Petitioner was born on DATE OF BIRTH. Petitioner=s Texas Driver=s License No. is
YOUR LICENSE NUMBER, IF YOU HAVE ONE, and his/her Social Security No. is YOUR SSN,
IF YOU HAVE ONE.
II.
On DATE OF ARREST, Petitioner was arrested in the City of CITY OF ARREST by a
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 2
NAME OF POLICE AGENCY, ex.: Dallas Police Officer, charging him/her with OFFENSE
CHARGED. On DATE PETITIONER RECEIVED DEFERRED ADJUDICATIONand in Cause
Number YOUR CASE NUMBER, the judge of said matter deferred further proceedings, entering an
adjudication of guilt and placed Petitioner under supervision of the Court. Petitioner subsequently
completed his/her deferred probation and at the end of his/her period of supervision, the Court
dismissed the proceedings and discharged Petitioner on DATE PROBATION COMPLETED AND
DISMISSED.
In the five years IF MISDEMEANOR, ten years IF FELONY, since his/her case was
dismissed and he/she was discharged from probation, Petitioner has not been convicted of or placed
on probation under section 5, 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for any offense other than an
offense under the Transportation Code punishable by fine only. Petitioner has not been previously
been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense requiring registration as a sex
offender under Chapter 62, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, any offense under sections 19.02,
1903, 20.04, 22.041, 25.07, or 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code. Petitioner has never before been
convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense involving family violence, as defined by
Section 71.004, Texas Family Code.
III.
Petitioner has reason to believe that the following agencies, officials, or other public entities
of this state have records concerning the arrest:
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 3
1) ARRESTING OR CHARGING POLICE AGENCY
Example Only: Dallas Police Department
Jack Evan Police Headquarters
1400 S. Lamar Street
Dallas, Texas 75215-1815
Records Division
2) PROSECUTING ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Example Only: Dallas District Attorney’s Office
133 N. Industrial Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75207
Records Department
3) DISTRICT CLERK OFFICE (If Felony)
COUNTY CLERK OFFICE (If Misdemeanor)
Example Only: Dallas District Clerk
133 N. Industrial Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75207
Records Department
4) Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 N. Lamar
P. O. Box 4087
Austin, Texas 78773
IV.
Pursuant to section 411.081 of the Texas Government Code, Petitioner is entitled to have all
records and files concerning the arrest and subsequent deferred probation sealed from disclosure for
the following reasons:
1) The court in the above referenced matter deferred further proceedings without
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 4
entering an adjudication of guilt and placed Petitioner under supervision of the court.
Petitioner subsequently completed his deferred probation and at the end of his period
of supervision the court dismissed the proceedings and discharged Petitioner from
supervision.
2. Since his/her case was dismissed and he/she was discharged from probation,
Petitioner has not been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication probation under
section 5, 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for any offense other than an
offense under the Transportation Code punishable by fine only. Petitioner has not
been previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense
requiring registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Texas Code of Criminal
Procedure, any offense under sections 19.02, , 1903, 20.04, 22.041, 25.07, or 42.072
of the Texas Penal Code. Petitioner has never before been convicted or placed on
deferred adjudication for any offense involving family violence, as defined by
Section 71.004, Texas Family Code.
WHEREFORE, the Petitioner prays the Court:
2. To set this matter for hearing.
3. To give reasonable notice of hearing to the State of Texas pursuant to Texas
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 5
Government Code 411.081.
4. After the hearing on this matter, the court should issue an order prohibiting criminal
justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information
related to the offense giving rise to the herein referenced deferred adjudication.
4. After a hearing on this matter, the Court=s order of nondisclosure should be
forwarded to the clerk of this court and said clerk should send a copy of the order by
certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Crime Records Service of the
Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public safety should then, by order
of this court, send a copy of said order by mail or electronic means to all law
enforcement agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates, courts,
prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal
records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any political
subdivision of this state, and to all central federal depositories of criminal records
that there is reason to believe have criminal history record information that is the
subject of the court=s order.
Respectfully submitted,
__________________________
[NAME OF PETITIONER]
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 6
[ADDRESS OF PETITIONER]
[PHONE NUMBER OF PETITIONER]
[FAX NUMBER OF PETITIONER]
PETITIONER APPEARING PRO SE
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 7
AFFIDAVIT
BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared
_______________________________________ , who after being duly sworn stated:
AI am the Petitioner in this cause. I have read the Petition for Non-Disclosure of Records and
swear that all of the allegations of fact contained in the Petition are true and correct.@
__________________________________
NAME OF PETITIONER
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME on this the ______ day of
_________________, 20____.
___________________________________
Notary Public in and for the State of Texas
My Commission Expires: ______________
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 8
CAUSE NO. _____________
EX PARTE ' IN THE COUNTY CRIMINAL
' COURT #COURT NUMBER
' [OR]
VS. ' COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT
NAME OF PETITIONER AT TIME OF OFFENSE ' COUNTY COUNTY, TEXAS
ORDER SETTING HEARING DATE
It is ORDERED that the hearing on the Petition for Non-disclosure of Records is hereby set
for ____o=clock, ____. m. on the ____ day of ________________, 20____, in the courtroom of the
____________________________________________ Court in Dallas, Texas.
SIGNED this the _____ day of ______________________, 20___
_____________________________________
JUDGE PRESIDING
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE
9
CAUSE NO. _____________
STATE OF TEXAS IN THE_____________ JUDICIAL
VS. DISTRICT COURT OF
_____________ _____________COUNTY. TEXAS
ORDER PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL
HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION
Today, the Court heard the defendant's petition asking the court to issue an order of prohibiting
criminal justice agencies from disclosing the defendant's criminal history record information relating to
the offense that gave rise to the defendant's deferred adjudication. See TEX. GOVT. CODE § 411.081
(d)-(h).
After notice to the state, the Court conducted a hearing on the defendant's petition. The
defendant, his counsel (if any), and counsel for the State were present. After hearing all the evidence, the
Court is of the opinion that the petition is meritorious.
Accordingly, the Court FINDS:
1) the defendant entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in this cause and the Court placed
the defendant on deferred adjudication community supervision: and
2) at the end of the period of supervision, the Court dismissed the proceedings in this cause and
discharged the defendant from deferred adjudication community supervision: and
3) the defendant satisfies the requirements of Sections 411.081(d) & (e) of the Texas
Government Code:
4) the defendant was entitled to file the petition and tendered a fee to the clerk: and
5) issuance of this order is in the best interest of justice.
The Court ORDERS that criminal justice agencies arc prohibited from disclosing to the public
criminal history record information related to the defendant's commission of the offense
of _____________ on _____________, for which the defendant was placed on deferred
adjudication community supervision in this cause.
The following information is provided to identify the defendant:
NAME: _____________
SEX: _____________
RACE: _____________
DATE OF BIRTH: _____________
DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER: _____________
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER:
_____________
The Court finds that defendant is entitled to nondisclosure of the following information:
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 10
ALLEGED OFFENSE: _____________
DATE OF ALLEGED OFFENSE: _____________
DATE OF ARREST: _____________
COUNTY WHERE ARRESTED: _____________
MUNICIPALITY WIIERE ARREST OCCURRED: _____________
ARRESTING AGENCY: _____________
CASE NUMBER: _____________
COURT: The Court further ORDERS the Clerk of the Court to send a copy of this Order by secure
electronic mail to the Crime Records Service of the Department of Public Safety. Pursuant to Section
411.081(g) of the Texas Government Code, the Crime Records Service of the Department of Public Safety
shall send a copy of this Order by mail or electronic means to all law enforcement agencies, jails or other
detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central state
depositories of criminal records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this state or of any
political subdivision of this state, and lo all central federal depositories of criminal records that there is
reason to believe have criminal history record information that is the subject of this order, including the
following agencies known to the defendant to have criminal history record information subject to this
order:
(a) Dallas County Sheriffs Department
133 N. Industrial
Dallas. TX 75207
(b) Texas Department of Public Safety
Crime Records Service MSC 0234
P.O. Box 4143
Austin. TX 78765-4143
(c) Dallas County District Attorney's Office
133 N. Industrial. 10
th
Floor
Dallas. TX 75207
(d) _____________ Police Department
(e) Dallas County District Clerk's Office
133 N. Industrial. 2
nd
Floor
Dallas. TX 75207 (0 Dallas County
Pretrial Services
133 N. Industrial
Dallas, TX 75207
PETITION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS PAGE 11
The Court further ORDERS that this document is confidential. It is not public information as that term is
defined under the Texas Public Information Act and shall not be disseminated pursuant to a request made
under the Public Information Act.
SIGNED this _____________day of _____________.
_____________
_____________ JUDGE PRESIDING