Part I of this post discussed the new automatic nondisclosure of certain misdemeanors. Part II of this post discussed petitions for nondisclosure of misdemeanor probation. As of September 15, 2015, Texas law now permits courts to grant nondisclosure of some misdemeanors for which a defendant received a jail sentence.
Nondisclosure of Convictions with Jail Sentences in Texas
Under the new law, a final conviction for a misdemeanor that resulted in a jail sentence is eligible for nondisclosure under certain circumstances. Nondisclosure of convictions with jail sentences is governed by Chapter 411.0735 of the Texas Government Code.
What are the Requirements for Nondisclosure of a Conviction with a Jail Sentence?
In order for a defendant to receive a nondisclosure of a conviction that carried a jail sentence, the following must occur:
- the defendant was sentenced to jail time and served it;
- the defendant properly files a petition for nondisclosure; and
- the courts finds, after notice to the State and opportunity for a hearing, that a nondisclosure is “in the best interest of justice.”
Who is Eligible for Nondisclosure of a Conviction with a Jail Sentence?
A defendant is eligible for non-disclosure for certain misdemeanor convictions that carried jail sentences where:
- The defendant was not on probation for a the offenses of:
- driving while intoxicated
- minor driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol
- flying while intoxicated
- boating while intoxicated
- assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated; or
- organized crime; and
- The defendant has never been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for another offense besides a traffic offense punishable by fine only; and
- during any applicable waiting period (discussed below), the defendant is not convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any offense other than a traffic offense punishable by a fine only
- The defendant was not convicted of and has never previously been convicted (including probation) or put on deferred adjudication for the following offenses:
- a family violence offense
- an offense for which the court made an affirmative finding of family violence
- an offense that requires sex offender registration
- aggravated kidnapping
- murder or capital murder
- trafficking in persons or continuous trafficking in persons
- injury to a child or elderly or disabled person
- violations of bond conditions in family violence, sex assault, stalking, or human trafficking cases
Timing of Nondisclosure of a Conviction with a Jail Sentence
A defendant seeking nondisclosure of a misdemeanor offense for which he or she served jail time must wait for two (2) years after the completion of the jail term.