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THE IMPACT OF PLEA AGREEMENTS

General Law

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Before accepting an offer from the State, every criminal defendant in New Braunfels and Central Texas should be aware of the impact of plea agreements on employment and background checks. 

For example, many defendants may accept a “time served” sentence for misdemeanors like theft or assault. This offer sounds excellent because the defendant has already served jail time. Once the defendant accepts the “time served” plea deal, the court will release the defendant from jail.

Here’s the catch. By accepting this offer, the defendant can never erase the final conviction from their criminal record. So every time the defendant applies for a job, credit card, or apartment, the conviction will appear in a background check.

Employment & Background Checks

Since September 11, 2001, employers have frequently been performing background checks. A conviction can prevent an applicant from getting a job in such situations.

So what seems like a good offer today might be a bad deal in the future. Defendants should ensure that their defense attorney explains the consequences of a plea agreement on their criminal record. And remember that even with deferred adjudication, some types of crimes are not eligible to be sealed.

For example, many people accept deferred adjudication for assault. However, if the assault involves family violence, which includes “dating violence,” a court cannot seal the offense. Ultimately, a defendant’s best option is often to fight the charges and go for a “not guilty” verdict.

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with a crime in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.