Job Hunting and Your Texas Criminal Record

This is a problem that I discuss with my clients even before I start working on their cases. It’s a bigger deal than a conviction itself. It’s about job hunting and your Texas criminal record. It can affect your short term and long term earning potential.

When clients come into my office, and while I’m working on their cases, I’m actively planning for the best possible outcome for them. I’m always trying to plan ahead and put them in a position to later have their record sealed.

In Texas, as I’ve mentioned before, “record sealing” takes two forms. One is an Expunction and the other is a Non-Disclosure. In Texas, a Petition for Expunction of your criminal record is filed to begin your case. If the charges were dismissed, you can request the Expunction. If you completed a Deferred Adjudication in Texas, we can file a Petition for Non-Disclosure.

How does my Texas criminal record affect my job hunt?

First, especially in Austin, the labor market is on fire. Highly skilled and well paid positions open up daily. Sometimes these positions require government clearance. You’ve got your degree, perfect resume, cover letter, and you’re on the hunt for a new, better paying position. Something in the back of your mind is eating away at you. You know when you apply, you’re going to have to write another Resume addendum or explain during a job interview about that time you got busted for pot.

Recruiters, Human Resources, and Hiring Managers will be on the lookout for the best candidates. You can also rest assured that they’re doing a background check. If you have a criminal record in Texas, the background check will light up like a Christmas Tree in their eyes. If that doesn’t make you sweat bullets on the job hunt, then nothing will. You started off in the short stack of resumes. You’re more than qualified for the position and you’ve barely gotten any calls back. Student loans won’t pay themselves. But your criminal record keeps you out of the final pool of phone calls for interviews.

What you can do to get your charges expunged or your record sealed?

Whatever you’re looking for, you know that you want to make your criminal record a non-issue during the job hunt. You don’t even want to think about it, much less have to explain it ever again. Expunging your criminal record means you can deny it forever, right? RIGHT. This applies whether it’s an expungement of a felony or a misdemeanor. If your case was dismissed, or you were never charged with a crime, that’s an option.

What if you completed a Deferred Adjudication? Remember, a Deferred Adjudication is NOT A CONVICTION! 

If that’s the case, you’ll be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure. This is a legal veil between the public, private employers, and your record. State licensing authorities will always be able to peek behind the veil. Private employers cannot.

While an Order of Non-Disclosure may not be as ideal as the expungement of your record, it can and will shield your record to private background checks. That can be the difference that makes a difference when keeping your resume in the short stack.  Let’s get moving on putting your criminal record behind you.