You would be hard-pressed to find a job application these days that does not mention the potential-employer’s decision to conduct a criminal background check prior to your hiring. Whether you want to be a part-time cashier or a company executive, employers need to know if you could become a liability due to criminal inclinations of the past; this is especially true for assault and theft convictions. What does a criminal background check in Texas actually entail, though? How much of your past will the typical employer see?
Seven-Year Lookback Period
For the most part, employers in Texas are only going to look at the last seven years of your life when conducting a criminal background check. During the lookback inspection, they can see any sort of misdemeanor and felony conviction, from drug crimes to white collar crimes. The only way criminal activity will not show up is in the case of full dismissals with no admission of guilt. It is also unlikely for an employer to be able to see any criminal convictions that occurred before you turned 18 and were charged as juvenile crimes.
Background Check Exceptions
The seven-year lookback for criminal background checks in Texas is largely up to interpretation. Some employers may choose not to do a criminal background check at all, but many more may be more extensive in their search. If you are to earn a high salary, apply for a job that requires frequent interaction with the public, or could handle large sums of money and finances, it is not uncommon for an employer to be able to access the last 20 years of your criminal record, stopping at when you were 17.
Overall, each employer can decide how they want to conduct their criminal background checks, to a certain extent. If you are concerned about how far back it will go, you can ask the employer for details. They are not permitted to judge your application based merely on an inquiry.
Using Expungement & Record Sealing
Some pieces of your criminal record might be eligible for expungement or record sealing. If successful, these legal processes will block some information from potential employers – they will either see nothing at all or only see that you were involved with criminal activity but get no further details. Due to the unique usefulness of expungement, it is recommended that anyone who has been charged with a crime look into it, whether they are applying for a new job or not.
For more information regarding Texas criminal law or expungement, you can contact The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry and speak to the firm’s Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. You can also seek the firm’s help for deregistration if you have been placed on a criminal sex offender registration.