How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27052
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am needing information. I was just turned down for

This answer was rated:

I am needing information. I was just turned down for employment because of a back ground check. My back ground revealed 2 offenses. one when i was 17 and was supposed to have been deferred and adjudicated. and one that I have no idea what it is. both of them are listed as misdemeanors and over 20 yrs old. What can I do about these? How can I get them removed.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now.

What was the second misdemeanor for? Was it a conviction?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

OK. I contacted Jo*** Co*** and they told me that the adjudacation was revoked on the charge when I was 17. I do not understand why. It was all completed and paid. I have requested copies of everything from them. on the second charge she said it is a misdemeanor for theft 200-700. she said she thinks it is a bad check. I have no knowledge of this one. I am also requesting copies of this so I can figure it out. the first charge is from 1991 and the second charge is from 1993.

Texas does not expunge convictions. Had your deferral been successfully completed, you'd have been eligible for an order of non-disclosure. But a misdemeanor conviction is going to stay on your record. To minimize the effect of that, you'd need a pardon from the governor.

Alternatively, you might be able to hire a lawyer to reopen the cases and get the dismissed in the interest of justice, since they are very old cases and in the way of your employment. Judges have the power to grant such a petition under principles of equity, even when the law doesn't provide for a dismissal. He or she will grant such a petition if it is necessary to prevent an injustice from occurring. So with a particularly compelling argument, if the judge is willing to hear the petition in the first place, it could happen for you.

Courts are sparing in their use of the equity power and many judges will not touch this at all, but it is something you could explore with a local criminal lawyer who would be able to tell you how viable this would be and whether your prospect of success would be worth the money you'd have to lay out to get it done.

If you got the dismissal, then you could get an expungement.

It appears, however, that all must wait until you see what your records show.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Is there a limit as to how far back they can run a background check? I am in Texas. I read that Texas does not allow reporting for anything after 7 years unless salary is over $75000 per year.

Not really. The law prevents a third party background checker from going back more than 7 years, but it doesn't prevent the employer from looking deeper. Additionally, it's all complicated by the fact that arrests are public records, and all an employer may have to do to find an old case is to run Google search of a candidate's name because the news is out there in the public domain.

Still, a pardon or a dismissal looks a lot better than a convition.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

This is texas and the 3rd party agency is reporting to the employer info over 20 yrs old.

There are several other exceptions. What kind of job were you looking for. Was it a government or private employer? A government employer can go all the way back to your 18th birthday.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Private employer, Driving my own car for a company called L***. They are like U***. Pay is around 25K per year if im lucky. Actually I am being hired as a contractor for them.

Since you're delivering passengers to their residences, they could go back beyond the 7 years but I don't see how they could go back for more than 20. You can't make the employer hire you. But you can get a lawyer and go after the background service and perhaps even the employer if you can demonstrate that your old record was the only reason you were not hired.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

I contacted the background reporting agency. They told me texas law does not matter because they follow federal law. Also the company sent me an email telling me specficaly that I was not being hired because of what the background company reported to them.

Thank you for the update. Under Federal law, non-convictions can only be reported for 7 years, but they can go back forever for convictions. As Federal law trumps state law, you likely don't have a case against the background checker, but you can still consult with a local lawyer and see if under all of the circumstances of your situation he feels otherwise.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Zoey_ JD and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you