NONDISCLOSURE PROCEDURES

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Where To File

A petitioner must file his petition for nondisclosure in the court that placed him on deferred adjudication.

Notice To The State

The petitioner must provide notice to the State by serving a copy of the petition,. Unlike a petition for expunction, which the court clerk serves on the parties, the petitioner himself must serve a petition for nondisclosure on the State.

The State’s Response

While procedures will vary among offices, generally upon receipt of a petition for nondislsocure the State will: open a file, review the trial file and petitioner’s criminal history to very that the type or timing of this offense or any other offense does not disqualify the petitioner from eligibility to file the petition or render the nondisclosure not in the best interest of justice; review the case docket for the underlying case to verify that the petitioner obtained deferred adjudication, successfully completed his deferred, and obtained a discharge and dismissal of his case as well as to determine that the requisite time has passed since the discharge and dismissal; and draft and serve the State’s answer to the petition.

The Hearing

The court must hold a hearing on whether the petitioner is entitled to file the petition for nondisclosure and whether an order of nondisclosure is in the best interests of justice. The court errs in denying the petition on the ground that it is not in the best interest of justice if it does not address that specific issue in the hearing.

Best Interest of Justice

Before a court may issue an order of nondisclosure, it must hold a hearing on whether the petitioner is entitled to file a petition and whether issuance of the order is in the best interest of justice. The statute does not provide guidelines on when an order of nondisclosure would not be in the best interest of justice.

The following situations illustrate when nondisclosure may not best serve the public:

Multiple Similar Offenses
Old Driving While Intoxicated Cases
Egregious Facts of the Offense