8:00 - 6:00

Hours Mon. - Fri.

214.329.9433

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Search

Lang

 

Criminal Record

How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

How a Family Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Career

When Your Job Is on the Line

 

Many criminal convictions can potentially affect your career prospects or even cause you to lose your job. Family violence (i.e. domestic violence) convictions, in particular, can wreak havoc on your professional life. They tend to carry a greater stigma than other convictions and raise more red flags in the eyes of employers. And in some fields, you can even lose your professional license due to a family violence conviction.

 

If you are facing family violence charges in Texas, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the ways a conviction can affect your career before you make any missteps in your case. While it’s always best to review the specific facts and circumstances of your case with a family violence attorney to get a good idea of what you could face, here’s some helpful information about how a family violence conviction can affect your career.

 

State-Licensed Employees

 

State-licensed employees include everyone from cosmetologists to electricians to teachers. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) runs background checks on all new license applications and renewal applications. It sets forth guidelines for determining whether license applicants are eligible based on their criminal convictions. The TDLR will forward any applications from candidates with a criminal conviction to an internal attorney for review. Generally speaking, TDLR will consider many factors, including:

 

  • The nature and seriousness of the crime
  • The relationship of the crime to the specific reason for obtaining the license
  • The extent to which the license may enable the applicant to engage in further criminal activity of the same type
  • The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity or fitness the applicant needs to carry out his or her duties in the specific profession

 

The time that has passed since the commission of the crime, the work conduct of the applicant before and after committing the offense, the evidence of the applicant’s rehabilitation and the facts and circumstance surrounding the offense will also be top considerations.

 

The bottom line is a family violence conviction can potentially impact your eligibility to obtain or renew a state-issued professional license. But every case is unique, so discuss your situation with an attorney to identify what factors may impact your eligibility and what you can do to minimize their impact.

 

Employees who are not state licensed should know that they will likely need to discuss such a conviction many times over their professional career. Family violence convictions are treated as serious crimes against persons, which can cause any employer to think twice about hiring or promoting someone who has committed such an offense. You will not be able to remove a family violence conviction from your record, and employers in some fields may deny applicants with a family violence conviction if it would put other employees, clients or customers at risk.

 

The most important take away here is that a family violence conviction carries significant stigma due to the nature of the relationship between the alleged offender and the accuser and the acts that are seen as family violence in the eyes of the law. Any conviction for a crime such as assault family violence, assault, kidnapping or harassment can cause employers to see you as a liability, especially if you work with people or are in a customer-facing role. Also, the TDLR will run a criminal background check on all applicants, no matter the occupation.

 

Consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney if you are facing family violence charges and have concerns about your job. Don’t overlook the potential collateral consequences of a family violence conviction, which have a far broader scope than the court-imposed penalties. Involving an attorney in your case ensures you explore and consider all your options for fighting your charges and protecting your career.

 

If you are facing family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your freedom and your career. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Top Tips for Job Searching With a Texas Criminal Record

Top Tips for Job Searching With a Texas Criminal Record

Looking for a Job With a Texas Criminal Record

 

If you are searching for a job and have a Texas criminal record, chances are good a prospective employer will discover it. More and more employers are turning to commercial background checks to quickly screen applicants that may be a “liability.” This makes their job of assessing candidates easier and lower risk. In reality, they could be denying highly qualified applicants due to an indiscretion of theirs in the past. Therefore, if you are job searching with a Texas criminal record, you could face undue discrimination. To help you overcome any barriers to employment you might face with a criminal record, keep these tips in mind.

 

Know What’s On Your Record

 

Request a copy of your Texas criminal record so you know what employers can see. It is not uncommon for people to discover inaccuracies on their criminal background check. Unfortunately, they often don’t find out until they’ve lost a job opportunity.

 

Know What You Have to Disclose

 

Another essential tip is to be 100% honest when applying for jobs. If a prospective employer requires you to disclose a criminal conviction at some point in the application process, do so truthfully. If you lie on an application and the employer finds out, you probably have zero chance of getting the job. Please note employers must gain your permission to run a criminal background check on you. You have a right to deny them that liberty, but they have a right to not offer you the job as a result.

 

Know Your Protections

 

Federal law provides job applicants certain protections. In general, federal law limits when and how an employer may use information about an applicant’s criminal background in the hiring process. Blanket policies that automatically discriminate against applicants with a criminal record are illegal for most private employers. Similarly, an employer may not use an arrest that did not end in a conviction as reason alone to deny you a job, a promotion or fire you.

 

Work With an Attorney to Counter Discrimination

 

There is no way around it; if you have a Texas criminal record, you could miss out on great job opportunities. But with a little bit of knowledge and a few extra steps, you can help counter discrimination and overcome the odds on your job search. Consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges or are looking for a job and have a prior conviction. An attorney can help you explore your options for cleaning your record or keeping it clean before it’s too late.

 

 

If you have a Texas criminal record and are looking for a job in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name and protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Offenses Ineligible for Nondisclosure in Texas

Offenses Ineligible for Nondisclosure in Texas

The Benefits of Nondisclosure in Texas

 

An Order of Nondisclosure can relieve those with criminal records of the requirement to disclose specific pieces of information about their criminal background on job applications. It also prohibits public agencies from releasing information about an offense for which you obtained a Nondisclosure.

 

While this may seem like a minor benefit for a complicated legal process, this type of relief is more valuable than ever. Employers increasingly turn to background checks to screen applicants. It’s easy, quick and cheap. Obtaining a Nondisclosure for a conviction means a potential employer will consider you based on merit rather than a mistake made in your past. But not all offenses are eligible for Nondisclosures. Thus, it’s important to understand the benefits and limitations of Nondisclosures before you begin the process.

 

You may not obtain a Nondisclosure for any of the following offenses, or if you were ever convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for:

 

Offenses that Require Sex Offender Registration

 

If you were convicted of an offense that requires you to register as a sex offender in Texas, that offense is ineligible for a Nondisclosure. You cannot remove that offense or information about that offense from your record. Hence, you must also disclose such an offense if an employer inquires about your criminal background.

 

Aggravated Kidnapping

 

You are ineligible to obtain a Nondisclosure for an offense of aggravated kidnapping, as defined under Texas Penal Code § 20.04.

 

Offenses Under the Following Texas Penal Codes

 

  • Murder (Penal Code 19.02)
  • Capital murder (Penal Code 19.03)
  • Trafficking of persons (Penal Code 20A.02)
  • Continuous trafficking of persons (Penal Code 20A.03)
  • Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled individual (Penal Code 22.04)
  • Abandoning or endangering a child (Penal Code 22.041)
  • Violation of court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case (Penal Code 25.07)
  • Repeated violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking or trafficking cases (Penal Code 25.072)

 

Offenses Involving Family Violence

 

 

An Attorney Can Help You Obtain a Nondisclosure in Texas

 

Obtaining a Nondisclosure in Texas for any conviction will become impossible if you are convicted of one of the above offenses at any point in the future. Typically, employers in Texas have the right to reject applicants based on their criminal background. Furthermore, employers view these offenses in particular as red flags due to their nature. Consequently, you need to contact a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately if you are facing charges for any of these offenses. Fighting these charges is the only way to keep them off your record and preserve your ability to obtain Nondisclosures for future (eligible) offenses. If your offense is eligible for a Nondisclosure, an attorney can walk you through the process for best results.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges or want to move on from a past conviction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can move on with your life. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

The Effect of an Affirmative Finding of Family Violence (AFV)

The Effect of an Affirmative Finding of Family Violence (AFV)

The Aftermath of Family Violence

 

A conviction for an offense involving family violence can restrict your rights, affect your employment prospects and raise the stakes should you commit a subsequent offense. And those consequences are not limited to assault family violence convictions. A judge may also make an affirmative finding of family violence (AFV) in cases such as assault or sexual assault if the evidence establishes family violence was involved. Regardless of your specific charge, an AFV will remain a blemish on your criminal record indefinitely. Understanding the effects of an AFV requires we first understand how Texas defines family violence.

 

Under Texas Family Code §71.004, family violence is:

 

An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.

 

Enter the AFV

 

Certain offenses necessarily indicate family violence (e.g. assault family violence). But many other crimes against persons can involve family violence, such as assault, sexual assault and unlawful restraint but are not exclusively designated as family violence offenses. If convicted of any offense under Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code, however, the court can include an AFV in the judgment, which means family violence was involved. The AFV is then noted in your record and can have the same effects as a conviction for a family violence offense, including:

 

If the judge makes an AFV or the crime involves family violence in any way, the defendant is ineligible to petition for an Order of Nondisclosure for that specific offense or any subsequent offenses, no matter the nature. Please note that the judge is not required to make an AFV to render a defendant ineligible for a Nondisclosure. Trust us when we tell you this consequence alone is reason enough to fight your charges to the fullest extent. Unfortunately, the adverse effects of an AFV do not stop there.

 

The court can also use a prior conviction with an AFV as cause to enhance the sentencing for any future offense involving family violence. If you are convicted of sexual assault, for example, where the judgment included an AFV, you could face an “enhanced” (i.e. harsher) sentence if you committed another offense involving family violence in the future. Typically, this means your offense will be charged as a felony.

 

Among the other collateral consequences of an AFV include:

 

  • Loss of firearms rights (under both Texas and federal law)
  • Loss of the ability to be a managing conservator or joint conservator of a minor child
  • Loss of the right to foster or adopt a child under Texas law, and
  • Potential effects to your legal status in the US

 

Facing Charges for a Crime Involving Family Violence? Find a Legal Advocate Now!

 

AFV is sometimes used as an enhancement in assault cases, which raises the stakes of the conviction. If you are facing charges for a family violence offense, assault or any crime against persons, you need to contact an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth family violence defense attorney immediately. These cases are worth fighting due to the tremendous potential to damage your reputation and limit your rights. A seasoned family violence defense attorney can evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed with the goal of avoiding a family violence conviction or an AFV and the dire consequences that follow.

 

If you’re facing charges for a crime involving family violence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Texas Nondisclosure Eligibility Requirements

Texas Nondisclosure Eligibility Requirements

Getting the Fresh Start You Deserve

 

An Order of Nondisclosure prevents certain public agencies, such as the court or police department, from disclosing certain records of your criminal history. Nondisclosures can give those with criminal records a fresh start. But Texas maintains a strict set of nondisclosure eligibility requirements. To complicate matters further, those requirements have recently changed. That said, it’s always best to discuss your case in detail with an experienced criminal defense attorney, but let’s start by going over some basic information about Texas nondisclosures.

 

Texas Nondisclosures

 

In Texas, you can petition for a nondisclosure of a specific criminal offense. Please note that, if granted, your nondisclosure will only apply to the offense in question. Obtaining a nondisclosure for one offense will not affect the public’s ability to see any other offenses on your criminal record. Again, the eligibility requirements for nondisclosures have recently changed and are complicated to navigate. However, there are some basic requirements you must meet to be eligible for any Texas nondisclosure. There are also specific requirements that vary based on the type of nondisclosure you seek to obtain. Let’s take a look at the basic requirements anyone seeking a Texas nondisclosure must meet.

 

You are not eligible for a nondisclosure if:

 

  1. The offense for which you wish to obtain a nondisclosure or any other offense you’ve either been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for is:

 

  • An offense requiring you to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
  • An offense of aggravated kidnapping (as defined under Texas Penal Code 20.04), or
  • Any one of the following offenses; murder, capital murder, trafficking of persons, continuous trafficking of persons, injury to a child, elderly, or disabled person, abandoning or endangering a child, violation(s) or repeated violation(s) of any court order or condition of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking or trafficking case, stalking, or any other offense involving family violence.

 

Or

 

  1. You were convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense after you were convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for the offense you wish to obtain a nondisclosure for. This excludes fine-only traffic violations.

 

Procedure

 

Meeting the above basic eligibility requirements isn’t enough. But once you confirm you meet these requirements, you can move on to the next step of determining what type of nondisclosure you can obtain. There are different types of nondisclosures with different procedural requirements. This blog is not meant to be an exhaustive guide to these requirements. In general, however, the type of nondisclosure you are eligible for, the specific requirements you must meet and the procedure for obtaining one will vary based on:

 

  • Whether your offense was a misdemeanor or a felony
  • Whether it was a considered a nonviolent offense
  • Whether you were convicted or placed on deferred adjudication
  • Whether you were placed on community supervision (i.e. probation) or sentenced to a period of confinement
  • Whether your offense was a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense
  • Whether you went through and successfully completed a Veteran’s Treatment Court Program, and
  • Whether you were a victim of trafficking

 

To learn about what type of nondisclosure you are eligible for and how to obtain one, go over the circumstances and details of your offense with a criminal defense attorney. Once you determine what nondisclosure type you are eligible for and the procedure for obtaining one, there may be additional requirements you must meet.

 

Depending on the type of nondisclosure you are eligible for, you may or may not have to file a petition. If you do, you must file your petition with the court clerk of the court that placed you on deferred adjudication. The court clerk will then distribute your petition to the judge, who will then send it to the district attorney’s office. If you do not have to file a petition, you will still submit certain documents along with a fee. Also, you should know that there might be a waiting period, depending on the type of nondisclosure you are eligible for.

 

Discuss Your Case With an Attorney

 

To determine your eligibility, first, confirm that you meet the basic nondisclosure eligibility requirements mentioned above. Next, discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who handles nondisclosures. Again, the exact procedure you must follow will depend on numerous factors, including what type of nondisclosure you are eligible for.

 

If your criminal record is holding you back in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Quick Facts About Public Access to Criminal Records

Quick Facts About Public Access to Criminal Records

Under the Public Eye

 

Today, your criminal record is more accessible than ever. Gone are the days when someone had to go search for court records at the courthouse in person. Now, commercial background checks (available to the public) are easy to obtain online. Employers, landlords and even lenders are increasingly resorting to background checks to screen applicants. And for anyone with an arrest, charge or conviction on their record, that can make for some disappointing denials. To give you a better idea of how the public can access records of your criminal past, here are some quick facts.

 

What Is Public Record?

 

Court proceedings are—to a large extent—a matter of public record. In the past, members of the public who wanted to search for criminal records would have to go to the courthouse to access them in person. But we’re now in a data-driven era where our personal information is gathered, exchanged and even sold every day. Information about your criminal record is no exception. Now, there are for-profit background check companies capitalizing on the availability of large amounts of publically accessible data. By entering a few pieces of information and paying a fee, anyone can run a background check on any person.

 

What Are Commercial Background Checks?

 

Commercial background checks only contain publically accessible court records. These “commercial” background checks don’t stop at court records. They also can include credit scores, employment histories and even personal references. Again, these companies make a profit by selling your personal information to interested parties. But what they’re doing is not illegal. By gathering information from several public record databases, they are essentially consolidating all that information in a neat package to make it more user-friendly. The person conducting the search pays for convenience but could, theoretically, do the same search independently. In fact, background check companies cater mainly to employers and landlords that need to quickly and thoroughly screen applicants.

 

What’s Not Included in Commercial Background Checks?

 

Federal records and records that have been sealed are excluded. Likewise, obtaining a nondisclosure for an offense would limit what information a commercial background check company can pull from the public record.

 

Don’t Want Your Private Matters to Become Public? Call an Attorney

 

As long as you have Internet access and a method of paying online, you can access nearly anyone’s criminal record. That’s a disturbing thought, isn’t it? Even more so if you are facing criminal charges. Never underestimate the devastating impact a criminal conviction can have on your life. Always discuss your case in detail with a criminal defense attorney if you’re facing criminal charges. A seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney can explain the penalties you could face and help you develop a plan of action to minimize the negative consequences of your charges.

 

If your criminal record is holding you back in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

The Costs and Benefits of Plea Bargains

The Costs and Benefits of Plea Bargains

Plea bargains, also called plea deals, are a crucial component in many Texas criminal prosecutions. Most people think they have only two options when facing criminal charges: plead guilty to the charges or go to trial. In reality, most criminal cases are resolved prior to trial through a plea bargain. A plea bargain is essentially a negotiated “deal” wherein the defendant exchanges his or her guilty plea for a reduced charge or lesser sentence. But plea bargains have both benefits and costs that should be considered.

 

Benefits of Plea Bargains

 

Plea bargains are negotiated between the prosecution and the defense. They attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution: a better outcome for the defendant and a lightened trial load for the court. The courts want to avoid trial because they are resource intensive. Courts typically have a backlog of cases awaiting trial at any given point. The defendant also benefits. He or she avoids the costs, risks and uncertainty of trial. In a trial, the defendant’s fate is often in the hands of the jury. Moreover, the defendant saves attorney fees, court fees and the costs of obtaining evidence, such as expert testimony.

 

Plea bargains also have the added benefit of giving the defendant options. If he or she does not want to plead guilty to the charge he or she is facing, a plea bargain may provide a favorable alternative. For example, if the defendant was facing a charge with a mandatory jail sentence, his or her attorney might be able to negotiate a deal wherein the defendant serves no jail time.

 

Costs of Plea Bargains

 

While plea bargains can provide the defendant some level of flexibility in terms of options, they also come at a cost. Typically, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to get the best plea bargain. Although the defendant would still end up avoiding the cost of trial, he or she would most likely have to hire a criminal defense attorney skilled at negotiating plea bargains for best results.

 

The most important cost of plea bargains to keep in mind is the defendant is still pleading guilty. In a trial, the defendant would have a chance of acquittal. An acquittal would mean he or she would walk away with no criminal conviction. In accepting a plea bargain, the defendant is pleading guilty to a crime and will acquire a criminal record in the process. In light of this fact, it becomes less of a “bargain” and more of a burden. Unfortunately, many defendants don’t consider the costs of a criminal record until it’s too late. But if you consider the destructive potential of a criminal conviction, you can see how costly they are. For example, a criminal conviction can:

 

  • Cause you to lose your job
  • Hurt your chances when applying for a job
  • Result in denials when applying for apartments, loans or even insurance
  • Hurt your financial aid options
  • Cause you to lose certain rights (e.g. a family violence conviction will result in the loss of firearm rights)
  • Damage your reputation and status in your community
  • Result in the loss of certain relationships
  • May be used against you in future criminal cases

 

Long-Term Costs

 

These are just a few of the many harsh consequences of a criminal conviction. The worst part is these consequences often last a lifetime.

 

The only way to make an informed decision on how to plea is to discuss your case in detail with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. An attorney can go over all the costs and benefits of plea bargains and advise you on what you should do given the details of your case.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.