If you are arrested for a drug crime in Texas, you will need to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible following the arrest. Texas law regards drug crimes as serious offenses and drug charges may have potentially devastating implications for your life, especially regarding employment.
The Love Cote Law Firm, LLC, and our team of criminal defense lawyers have been supporting defendants in Texas for many years. A strong attorney-client relationship is at the heart of our criminal defense work, and we can help you to minimize the charges.
Do I Need To Disclose a Drug Conviction in Texas?
Regarding the disclosure of a drug crime, it is necessary for the employee to consult the provisions outlined within their contract handbook. This will indicate whether or not you are obliged to report any prior conviction.
Expunged convictions, cases in which records of a previous conviction are either sealed or destroyed, do not need to be disclosed. If you choose not to inform your employer of an arrest or conviction however, it must be considered that the practicalities of handling a drug charge, such as having to miss work to attend court hearings, may alert them to the legal crimes regardless.
Can My Employers Ask?
A background check on an applicant or employee may be conducted to ascertain the existence of any prior convictions including drug crimes. Under federal state law, employers are able to use criminal records as part of background checks on their employees. Generally, in Texas an employer can only examine seven years’ worth of an individual’s charges, arrests and convictions.
What If I Was Convicted Before I Was 18 Years Old?
If the individual in question was under eighteen years old when they received the conviction, their employer will most likely not be able to access this information. In addition, as well as being able to withhold or deny their existence, expunged convictions are either wiped from your record or else sealed, only viewable to certain government agencies.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act also details that authorization from the individual is needed when looking to use external criminal background checks to investigate criminal history.
Will I lose My Job If I am Committed of a Drug Crime?
The likelihood of termination if an employer finds an employee’s drug-related conviction varies between employers and between cases. Policy and protocol of an organization may be outlined within their employee handbook.
The circumstances of the charge will be taken into account with employers examining, the severity of the drug conviction, the time elapsed since the crime, and the number of convictions that an individual has, amongst other things.
The impact of a drug conviction on an individual’s capacity to continue performing within their job would also come under consideration. For example, an employer may question how much leave would have to be afforded to the employee to resolve the issue.
Additionally, an employer that is concerned with the liability of their business may move to fire the convicted individual immediately upon finding out; if this is the case, it is essential that you notify your attorney immediately.
Federal Law Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
Crucially, the federal law entitled Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) limits the power and authority of an employer to terminate a convicted employee following a criminal history check. This provides you greater protection if you have a criminal record.
This law seeks to prevent racial and ethnic discrimination within workplaces, providing some mitigation against termination following criminal background checks on the grounds that a disproportionate number are of African American or Latino ethnicity.
What Jobs Can’t I Apply to With a Criminal Record?
A criminal conviction on your record can limit employment opportunities and could affect the job application and hiring process for a new role. Of course, this depends on the type of job.
If you have been convicted of drug charges, this may prevent entry into certain industries such as law, law enforcement, or certain types of roles that involve contact with minors, such as nursing. Broadly, a drug conviction would not impede entry into the military, though it may warrant applying for a waiver. Employers may determine that the conviction is not so serious if it is unlikely to affect an employee’s capacity to fulfill the duties or inhabit the environment of the job in question.
If you are proven guilty of a drug crime, you could also lose a professional license such as a driver’s license, which could affect your ability to work.
In Texas, salary is another big factor. According to the Texas Business and Commerce Code, employers are only allowed access to the last seven years of applicants’ criminal records for jobs that pay $75,000 or less annually. For positions that pay more than this, your entire background check can be reviewed.
At a federal level, the Fair Credit Reporting Act stipulates that a reason must be provided by the prospective employer if they do not hire or reject job applicants based on an applicant’s criminal history.
Contact a Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Drug crimes and charges can be incredibly problematic when it comes to employment, whether this is during the application process for a job, or dealing with a drug-related legal issue while in employment.
Our highly skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyers at Love DuCote Law Firm LLC can work with you and support you throughout the process of fighting drug charges to achieve the best outcome possible for you.
In addition to your attorney providing the best possible representation for your case, your Love DuCote Law Firm LLC attorney will also use their extensive knowledge of the law to protect you against possible impacts that a drug-related crime or conviction may have on your employment.