Both misdemeanor and felony convictions have serious collateral consequences. Many people with such records have a hard time obtaining certain professional licenses, finding a nice place to live, obtaining student financial aid, and finding a good job.
All criminal convictions have direct as well as collateral consequences. Many offenses are crimes of moral turpitude. CMTs could have immigration and other consequences. Additionally, criminal convictions usually make it difficult to obtain student aid, pursue certain professional occupations, or even find a good place to live.
In many cases, criminal convictions have lifelong negative consequences. For example, certain convictions male it impossible to obtain certain licenses or obtain student financial aid. Many records in Texas are expungeable, meaning that all paperwork related to the case goes away. However, these situations are rather limited, as outlined below. Criminal convictions do not fall off records after seven years or any other period of time. In most cases, they remain forever.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice supervises about a quarter of a million probationers a year. That figure does not include the high number of absconders (people who completely ignore probation orders) or who are later incarcerated for some reason.
Many states have extremely complex rules regarding what offenses are expungeable and which ones are not. But in Texas, the rules are fairly straightforward. So, at your initial consultation, a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney should be able to tell right away if you are eligible for this kind of relief. If the lawyer hesitates, you probably need to find someone else.
In the social media era, pretty much everything is permanent public record. Even if you delete that questionable Tweet, someone probably made a screenshot of it. So, it's rather ironic that today's Texas expungement and sealing laws are broader than ever.