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Texas Theft Arrests and Job Applications

Published: Oct 10, 2016 in Criminal Defense

When you apply for a new job, the potential of something new is exciting. However, enduring a series of interviews can be tough. If you have been arrested or convicted of theft, you may be nervous about whether you should be up front about what may show up on a background check. The requirement to disclose a conviction can depend on the application. However, both arrests and a convictions may be revealed on a background check.

If you’re job hunting and unsure of how to handle a Texas theft arrest, contact Houston criminal defense lawyer Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767. He can help you handle blemishes on your record and discuss whether expungement is an option for you.

Theft Arrests & Convictions Create a Record

Both arrests and convictions for theft can stay on your criminal record. It may not seem fair for arrests to stay in your history, but if you are booked at a police station, there will be a record of the occurrence. However, your record will clearly show that although you were held, there was no conviction.

Employers can generally look back 7 years. They will see any theft arrest or conviction that occurred within 7 years of the background check. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you apply to a position that includes at-home or residential services, a potential employer can look back 20 years for felonies and 10 years for misdemeanors for certain crimes, including theft. If you are under 25 years old, an employer can only pull arrest and conviction records from age 17 and older.

When Disclosure is Required

You do not have to disclose arrests. In fact, asking about arrests on a job application can be a discriminatory practice. If you were arrested for theft, but no charges were filed, the charges were later dropped, or you were acquitted, you do not need to disclose the matter on an application or during an interview.

However, businesses are allowed to ask you about pleas of guilty or no contest and convictions. If an application asks for any instances in which you pleaded guilty or no contest or were convicted of any crime, you need to disclose a theft conviction.

Employers Should Ask About Job-Related Offenses

As a job applicant, you have the right to be free from discrimination. Because of this, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends all employers only ask about and consider criminal history that is recent and relevant to the nature of the job. This means a theft arrest that did not lead to a conviction should have little impact on your potential employment.

Whether or not a conviction is relevant will depend on the exact nature of the offense, when it occurred, and whether theft is related to the potential job. For example, if you are going to handle money in a potential job, the employer would want to know that you are a trustworthy person. It would be reasonable to ask about your criminal background regarding theft in order to ensure you’re a low risk while working with company property and funds.

Expungement of Theft Arrests

An expungement allows people with negative marks on their criminal records to erase or expunge that information in certain circumstances. An expunction completely removes an arrest from a person’s record. In fact, if your record is expunged you can legally testify under oath you were never even arrested. If law enforcement authorities arrested you by mistake, you don’t deserve to have that information on your record for potential employers to use against you. Similarly, if you have a blemish on your record, you deserve another chance.

If you have been arrested for or convicted of a theft crime, you may be eligible for expungement. If you were arrested but never charged, or if you were charged with a crime and later acquitted, an expungement may be an option for you.

If you are interested in making sure a theft arrest cannot be seen by future employers, call Houston theft defense lawyer Ned Barnett about expunging your record. You can schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 222-6767.