Public opinion on the fates of those with criminal records has seen a massive evolution in the past decade. Where a “live with the consequences” attitude once resided, one can now see much more sympathy and a sincere interest in the circumstances that led to an arrest, especially if it was committed as a youth or teen. In state after state, laws have been proposed and then passed which seek to eliminate “the box” – the field asking applicants if they have been previously convicted of a crime – from job applications. Other measures go even further and look to fast-track the cleaning of criminal records for those that have served their sentences. [Read more…]
Texas Criminal Records
People who are interested in retrieving criminal records from the State of Texas should begin their search at the Texas Department of Public Safety. Most criminal records can be obtained from the state's Crime Records Service, which maintains and compiles criminal records for people who request them.
Criminal History Records
Public records about people who have been convicted of crimes in the state of Texas are available through a criminal records search. One of the best ways to complete this search is to enter a person's name into the state's online database in order to generate the necessary records. The Texas Department of Public Safety will only provide information if the person has been convicted of a crime. This means that if a person was charged with a crime that was subsequently dismissed, that information cannot be retrieved from a criminal records online search on the department's website.
Information that can be obtained through this database search is records of arrests that were made and prosecutions that took place. There are instructions for how to search on the department's website, and people can also contact the department at (866) 220-0679 for more information.
Public Sex Offender Registry
People within the state of Texas can also view the public sex offender registry to find out if an individual has been convicted of any crimes that have required them to be placed on this list. The sex offender registry identifies individuals who are considered to be sex offenders by the state government. There is a national sex offender registry that interested people in Texas also can use to obtain more information about a given individual if necessary.
Texas Background Checks
There are a variety of laws in Texas that determine when and how a background check can be used by an employer during the hiring process. A lot depends on the income of the position, with rules differentiating between a position that pays higher than $75,000 per year and a position that pays less than $75,000 per year.
If an employer is hiring for a position that pays less than $75,000 per year, they can only obtain a background check that covers the last seven years of a potential candidate's criminal history. However, both arrests and convictions will appear on the report. This means that even if a person is arrested and charged with a crime, but then is not convicted, the arrest will still appear on the background check report.
If an employer is hiring for a position that pays more than $75,000 per year, there are no time limits on the background check. The employer can use records from 20 years ago if they feel it is relevant to the hiring process.
In Texas, certain employers must perform a background check on employees before they make a hiring decision. For example, child care workers, educational professionals, law enforcement officials and elderly caretakers must undergo background checks before they can begin their jobs with their respective organizations and companies.
Texas is no stranger to unique approaches to its problems, sometimes even bordering on controversy, but one startling fact is putting the state’s schools and criminal records filings simultaneously in the spotlight. Currently, the state has prosecuted twice as many truancy cases as every single other state combined. [Read more…]
Following a recent and inconclusive complaint about a strong drug smell on the premises, a Corpus Christi, Texas condominium complex has just enacted a policy to prevent criminals from moving into the units on their property.
A week ago, a call was made to the local police department complaining of a strong and unspecified “drug smell” coming from one of the neighboring units. When police and firefighters arrived, they couldn’t find anything and eventually left without further incident or investigation. [Read more…]
Often, it’s not the path of least resistance that leads to the greatest results and successes, a prospect Texas lawmakers are coming to terms with as they consider increasing spending on Texas’ parole programs in order to decrease prison costs to the state in the long term. It makes sense as an idea: Keep parolees successfully out of trouble and completing their programs on the first try, and you have less repeat offenders or parole violators returning to prison on the taxpayer’s dole. [Read more…]