Seth Topek
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Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending the Rights of the Accused and the Incarcerated

Please call us at 713-651-1444 and we can discuss your Houston criminal record and what options you have for sealing it. Even though you accepted deferred adjudication, successfully completed it and avoided a conviction chances are your arrest is still being held against you in many ways.  Often we are called by individuals complaining that their attorney promised them that by taking deferred adjudication they were avoiding a conviction and that they would not have a criminal history.  Unfortunately that is not true, while you were not convicted and there will be no record of a conviction there will be a record that you were arrested and placed on community supervision.  Often employers will treat this the same as a conviction.  The only way to protect yourself from this is to seal your records.

    The legal language for sealing a criminal record is obtaining Court Order of Non-Disclosure.  If a private citizen or most potential employers run a background check nothing will show up on your criminal record.  However, unlike an expunction, records remain accesable to numerous licensing agencies, government agencies and government officials as spelled out in the Non-Disclosure statute.  Orders of non-disclosure significantly limit who has access to those records and who can see them when performing a background check.  Not everyone who is placed on deferred adjudication can have their record sealed, there are some offenses that make a person ineligible.  Additionally, for felonies a person must wait five years from the time their community supervision ends and for some misdemeanors, such as assault, there is a two year waiting period.

    A Motion for Non-Disclosure is filed in the same court that you were prosecuted in.  There is normally a court setting where we argue that the case should be non-disclosed.  The judge in the court has a great deal of discretion; they must decide if sealing your record is in the “best interest of justice.”  Before the court setting we will meet with you and discuss why you want the non-disclosure and how your criminal record is getting in the way of your ability to accomplish your goals.  We will need a copy of your resume and other relevant information.  If you were placed on deferred adjudication in Harris County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County or Brazoria County and have questions about having your criminal record sealed please fill out the contact form and en experienced lawyer will call you back.  With offices in Houston we can meet you at a time you find convenient.