If you have a criminal record in Texas, you will suffer many consequences – some that you may not even realize are related to your record.
In this post, we’re going to tell you the real costs you’ll face and show you what you can do to get your life back on track.
Your Reputation Has Been Harmed
People with a criminal record are often viewed with suspicion and negativity. Your reputation may have taken a hit, which can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. You may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to a criminal record.
Your Relationships May Have Changed
A criminal record often breaks up marriages, creates changes to custody agreements, and puts strain on family relationships. These changes can make life more difficult for you.
Employment Opportunities May Be Limited
If you are applying for a new job, a potential employer may immediately turn you down after running a background check. Some employers won’t hire you if something as minor as a misdemeanor charge shows up.
Even if you are already employed, a conviction can put your job in jeopardy. A new member of management could find out about your criminal record and demote or fire you.
Additionally, you may not be able to apply for jobs that require special licensing, because convicted criminals are prohibited from taking certain licensing tests. These factors may combine to limit your employment opportunities.
Housing Opportunities May Be Restricted
Landlords typically run background checks before renting. If a criminal record shows up, you may be turned away – or charged exorbitant rates and a higher deposit. In short, you may be forced to live in a less-than-favorable situation due to your criminal record.
Your Credit is Ruined
If you have been incarcerated and unable to work, your credit may have tanked. Also, if you are unable to find a good-paying job, your credit will likely be affected. Bad credit impacts your ability to apply for loans. If you can’t buy the things that you need, such as vehicles or housing, your quality of life can suffer.
Your Rights Will Be Revoked
Depending on your conviction, you may lose driving privileges, the right to vote, the right to possess firearms, or the right to adopt a child. Your child custody rights may also be revoked.
You could also lose rights at the federal level, which could affect your ability to apply for student loans, receive disaster assistance, or receive certain federal licenses.
Your Travel May Be Restricted
Certain individuals may not be permitted to travel outside specific jurisdictions after a criminal conviction.
What You Can Do about a Criminal Record in Texas
The good news is that in many cases, an experienced attorney can help you get your criminal record sealed or expunged. This hides your criminal record from public view, so your past will no longer have a negative impact on your present circumstances.
Record sealing restricts your criminal record to highly limited viewing. Record expungement permanently removes your criminal records. Certain convictions qualify for either sealing, while others can be expunged.
Learn if you qualify. Consult with a skilled attorney to learn what your options are.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.