In addition to possible jail or prison time and costly fines, an assault conviction in Texas can create lasting restrictions on your future. Even after you’ve fulfilled the terms of your sentence, you will likely still face additional barriers that make it difficult for you to get your life back on track. If you are trying to find a new job, you will probably be asked to pass a criminal background check. Let’s take a look at how having an assault conviction on your record can impact your employability and what you can do to keep your prospects as bright as possible.
What a Background Check Entails
When an employer decides to perform a background check on a potential employee, a consumer reporting agency will typically handle the process. Such agencies are constrained by both state and federal limitations, so they are only allowed to look back at the last seven years of your criminal history unless the position in question pays a salary of more than $75,000. If this is the case, the employer may view the individual’s entire adult criminal history. Employers who decide to run their own background checks can also view your entire adult criminal history. In Texas, you are considered an adult in the criminal justice system at age 17.
How to Approach a Potential Employer
Even if you are committed to forging a new path for yourself, you are likely to encounter challenges when applying for jobs after incarceration, probation, or deferred adjudication. It’s best to be upfront with an employer about a criminal conviction that will appear during a background check, as you’ll come across as honest and trustworthy from the first interaction. However, you should also read all documents and questions carefully, as employers may only ask about certain types of convictions (i.e., felonies), so you don’t have to mention a misdemeanor conviction if you are not required to do so. No matter what, be prepared to be passed over or rejected because of your criminal history, but trust that there are employers out there who are willing to give people a second chance.
How an Attorney Can Help
In order to establish the brightest possible future for yourself, it’s essential to work with an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with an assaultive offense. Both misdemeanor and felony assault convictions carry significant consequences, and a skilled attorney can work hard to secure you the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case. Even if you are convicted, you should talk to an attorney after you’ve successfully completed the terms of your sentence to discuss your eligibility for obtaining an order of nondisclosure, or to strategize ways to deal with employment or housing barriers that may arise.
If you live in the Pearland or Houston area and you are struggling with an assault charge or conviction, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 right away to arrange a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.