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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13480
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I have recently been released from 5 year deferred probation

Resolved Question:

I have recently been released from 5 year deferred probation with no problems of any kind. I have looked up my criminal record and NOTHING has changed! How do I get this fixed in Texas? I was only 17 at the time and now im 23 and can't find a job!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
Good afternoon, thank you for your question.

Unless the record is sealed/expunged, any court records related to the crime and/or any arrest will show up in a background check.

If this was a juvenile record, or a Class C misdemeanor for which you completed deferred adjudication, you can petition to expunge your record. If this was a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or felony and you have completed deferred adjudication, then you could petition the court for an Order of Non-Disclosure which seals your record and prohibits the government from disclosing your criminal conviction to the public. You may then legally and truthfully deny your arrest and conviction. Note that with this, there is typically a 2 year waiting period for misdemeanors and 5 year waiting period for felonies from the time you finish probation to petition for the Order of Non-Disclosure.

This site has some good information. You should also consider speaking with a criminal defense lawyer about this matter to ensure that if you are indeed eligible to file, that everything is done properly and so there is no delay in removing the record.

Please let me know if I have not fully addressed your concerns.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Even being barely 17 I was arrested as an adult with a class a felony. Sounds ridiculous I know, I was just a kid that stupidly tried drugs. I have recently graduated from UT and always get a shocked response when it looks like I am a hardened criminal. What was I taking an agreement for differed for if it wasn't to take it off my record after completing?

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

Deferred Adjudication Probation is a type of probation. A defendant is placed on a probation for a certain period of time. If the probation is successfully completed, the case is "dismissed." A defendant enters a guilty plea, but the judge does not find the defendant guilty and instead "defers" the finding of guilt. Pleading guilty for Deferred Adjudication is not considered a conviction under Texas law. A criminal background check will show the arrest for the charge, will show the Deferred Adjudication, but it will not show a conviction.

But, the arrest and the court record is still all public information. That's why a simply background check shows it. In your case, you would have to petition for an Order of Non-Disclosure, which, if granted prohibits the release of your record except to certain government agencies (e.g., law enforcement will always have a copy of your record). However, as I mentioned in my earlier response, since this was a felony, you must wait 5 years under Texas law, from the time you completed probation, to file this.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Every employer that has looked at my record has told me that I was wrong, and I was convicted. All they can see plain and clear is that I was arrested for a felony, plead guilty for a felony, and was on probation. Is there a way to have it changed to not be as slanderous?

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
If it's being reported correctly, and they are simply reading the report wrong, no. I suggest getting a background check done on yourself and seeing exactly what is on the report. The Texas Department of Public Safety has information on how to do that. If the disposition isn't being reported, or is being reported incorrectly, that is an error of the Clerk of the Court in the county where you were convicted, because they have the duty to report to the Texas Department of Public Safety, in which case, you should contact the Clerk's office about having the information properly put on your record.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have already looked at my record from the tdps. It does not say I was convicted anywhere and never has been, but it does say that I was Arrested for Possession, and Manufacturing(crazy) and I also plead guilty. What should it look like?

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
It seems correct then --it isn't showing a conviction (because you never were convicted) so I can't tell you why employers are telling you that you were convicted unless they are reading it wrong. Most employers probably aren't familiar with deffered probation. They just think you got probation.

Since you can't have the Order of Non-Disclosure done yet, however, the only other thing I can tell you is to have a copy of the record with you so that if a prospective employer tells you that you were convicted you can prove you weren't and you can explain what deferred probation is.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The problem is that it does not say I'm not convicted either. The question isnt adressed on my record. I feel like the way my record is written is truly the worst way possible and misleading that guilty is convicted
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
And it could just be the way check is written in Texas, unfortunately. Florida is different, because it would show conviction/dismissal/adjudication withheld, etc. I would call the Clerk in the county where you were convicted and see if they can file an amended record of dismissal or something similar with the TDPS to acurately reflect the dismissal.

Ultimately, though, you will want to have the Order of Non Disclosure done as soon as you are eligible as that is the only thing that will keep this from showing up.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I will accept your answer. I want to ask you because your a lawyer, why the heck are they making it so hard for 17 year old that they know is not a threat to society. I grew up in southlake! How can Texas not realize that if you ask a 17 year old if they can take a chance to go to prosion or take a guilty plea and deal with it later they are not going to make a good decision?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
You definitely made the right decision with the deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication means that you don't have an actual conviction. That's far better than prison and a conviction for life. The court gave you a gift -they don't know whether you are a threat to society or not. The deferred adjudication/probation was your chance. You made a dumb mistake, you realize that. But lots of 17 year old kids don't, they commit another crime, and the next time around, the court isn't so forgiving.

And, be glad that you actually have the opportunity to do the Order of Non-Disclosure later. In some states, you can never have a record removed, and it stays with you forever.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
They gave me the gift of not going to trial? I was 17 and was with a guy I barely knew in his 30s that told me to hide his stuff in my purse and i followed along. I know that they knew I would take it because I was scared... Anyways do I need a lawyer to actually get the dismissal documented on my record? Calling the clerk is like talking to the wind in Dallas.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 years ago.
It's not required that you have an attorney to assist you, and an attorney may not be any more effective than you in dealing with the Clerk, so I would say try doing it yourself first, see what the Clerk tells you, and if you really can't get anywhere then consider speaking with a lawyer. I'd just hate to see you spend the $250-$300 per hour a lawyer is going to charge you when you may be able to do it yourself.
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