It is becoming increasingly common to receive a background check in almost every facet of our society. When possible, it’s always preferrable to have your records sealed. In this blog post The Haggard Law Firm of Houston, TX discusses some important information regarding Non-Disclosures and having records sealed in Texas. It’s important to be aware of this information both to understand what is included in a Non-Disclosure as well as your rights if you have legal records sealed.

What is a Non-Disclosure / Sealing Records?

When an attorney successfully files a Motion for Non-Disclosure in Texas this does not mean that documentation for those charges are completely unavailable. A Motion for Non-Disclosure removes the offense from public record – they are hidden from the general public. Once sealed, the offense should not be available by any public records background check. This means you can legally deny both the arrest and the offense, including on employment applications and requests by private entities. By law they must comply with successful non-disclosures or they will face penalties.

However, some entities will still have available sealed records. Such entities include:

  • School Districts
  • Mental Health Services
  • Banking Commissioner
  • Board of Law Examiners
  • And some other government and licensure entities

For a full list, see our detailed information page regarding Non-Disclosures in Texas or contact us directly and we will answer any questions you have.

Which Legal Records Can Be Sealed?

Most misdemeanors and some felonies can be sealed, with certain restrictions. To have a record sealed a successful deferred adjudication probation is required (straight probation is not eligible for non-disclosure.) While some non-disclosures require a waiting period, some misdemeanor can be sealed immediately. Please contact our law office by email or call 832-328-0600 for a free consultation regarding your particular case – we are more than happy to provide you information regarding the particulars of your situation. Some offenses cannot be sealed, such as any requiring registration as a sex offender, injury to child, violation of protective order, and any offense involving family violence. Some common charges requiring a two year waiting period include indecent exposure, harassment, and unlawful carrying of a weapon. Felonies that can be sealed require a five year waiting period [in addition to other stipulations such as no subsequent charges.]

Record is Sealed but Potential Employer Discovers Records in Background Check

In general if you have a record sealed and you apply for employment and your potential employer finds out about the sealed record, it’s not the attorney’s fault nor the court system’s. Employers use private entities to perform background checks and likely the company doing the background check is using a database that has not been updated. If using an outdated database, Texas statutes provide a penalty of up to $1000 per violation and upon second violation they are essentially out of business for a year as they no longer have access to database updated criminal record information. If you believe a company has released information that should be sealed, report them!

For more information regarding record sealing or non-disclosures in Texas see our legal information page on this topic.

If you need help with sealing a record or with a non-disclosure in Houston TX, Harris County, or surrounding areas, contact defense attorney Carl Haggard with The Haggard Law Firm for a free confidential consultation regarding your case situation. Carl is an ex-Chief District Prosecutor with over 30 years of experience helping people seal their records. We have a verifiable track record of success and will meet with you personally to discuss the best strategy for helping you.

The Haggard Law Team