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What is the 7-Year Criminal Background Check Rule in Texas?

Posted on March 14, 2024 in

Many people assume that criminal convictions just fall off your record after a certain amount of time in Texas. However, this is not the case. Your criminal record includes a comprehensive list of every arrest and conviction in your background. While your criminal background may not be readily available, public information regarding your criminal history is. However, that does not mean your arrest or convictions need to haunt you for the rest of your life.

The Seven-Year Rule for Criminal Background Checks in Texas

According to 15 U.S. Code § 1681c, when you have a criminal arrest on your record, reporting agencies are prohibited from including it on the report if the arrest was more than seven years old. This does not apply to convictions. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, and those charges are ultimately dismissed, the arrest should not be reported if seven or more years have passed. However, if you are found guilty of the crime, you can expect the conviction to continue being reported on your criminal background check for the rest of your life unless you contact a Houston expungement lawyer.

What Are the Rules About Criminal Records Checks?

Criminal background checks are more common than you might think. For example, if you are applying for a job, your prospective employer may be conducting a criminal background check in the hopes of protecting themselves from liability. For example, if an employer does not do a background check and higher someone who has a history of criminal conduct, and that party later goes on to cause severe bottling injury or damages to another while working, the employer can be held accountable for the damages.

If they had run a background check, they would have discovered the applicant’s criminal history and likely opted to pass them over for the opportunity. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows a seven-year criminal background check for any position that pays under $75,000. However, if the job opportunity pays more than $75,000 annually, employers can check the applicant’s criminal record as far back as 18 years of age.

This can have a devastating impact on your life and limit your opportunities for financial growth. For this reason, it may be in your best interests to consider alternative options, particularly if you do not have any convictions on your record but multiple arrests. The consumer reporting agency checking into your criminal background cannot report any non-public information, so you might not be without hope if you have a deferred adjudication sealed with nondisclosure or your arrest is expunged.

What Happens if Your Criminal Record Was Expunged

Under specific circumstances, the Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 55: Expunction of Criminal Records allows certain individuals to get their criminal records expunged. Not every crime or conviction will meet the strict eligibility requirements. However, if your record was expunged, or you are a juvenile whose records were sealed, you are under no legal obligation to disclose the incident in question. Contact a Houston juvenile defense lawyer for more information on charges against juveniles.

This is because expungement wipes these offenses from your record and makes it as though they never legally existed. This information does not need to be disclosed if you are applying for a job, nor should employers consider this information as part of their hiring decisions should it become known.