Like most Texans, you work hard to get what you want. You go to work every day and take care of your family. Unlike some citizens of the Lonestar State, though, you have a criminal conviction in your past. Even though you have paid your fine, served your sentence or otherwise dealt with the consequences of your conduct, the conviction still haunts you.
If you have an arrest or conviction in your past, you may have a criminal record. Unfortunately, many individuals, including employers, landlords, friends, and family members, may be able to access and review this record. With an expunction, a judge effectively hides your criminal history from view. Here are four reasons you may want to expunge a past criminal conviction.
1. You are trying for a better job
The Texas Workforce Commission informs employers that state law allows them to conduct background checks. They may do so either on their own or through a third-party firm. Employers often use this authority to thoroughly investigate the criminal history of applicants. Even old criminal convictions may keep you from obtaining the position you want in the field of your choice. If a state judge grants your expunction request, though, employers may never learn about uncomfortable parts of your past.
2. You are applying to college
Youthful indiscretions are common, but even small run-ins with the Texas justice system can result in juvenile criminal records. It may surprise you to learn that Texas juvenile records are not necessarily confidential. When you apply to a college or university, your arrests or convictions may interfere with your admission. Seeking an expunction may keep college officials from seeing your criminal history.
3. You are looking at new apartments
As with hiring and college admission, background checks in Texas have a place in housing. Section 92.3515 of the Texas Property Code allows landlords to use a tenant’s criminal history as a valid reason to deny a rental application. If you win an expunction, potential landlords likely won’t find your criminal conviction when they conduct background checks.
4. You are worrying about your social standing
Regardless of the nature of the offense, criminal convictions can be embarrassing. You may not want your partner, family members or friends to know about your arrest or criminal conviction. Still, the internet makes finding private information easier than ever. An expunction may allow you to inform others about your past on your own terms.
At some point, everyone makes mistakes. Your past actions may not have to haunt you forever, though. Obtaining an expunction is not necessarily easy. The process requires a significant amount of legal knowledge and case preparation. Still, if you are ready to leave your conviction in the past where it belongs, working toward an expunction may be the right course of action for you.