How long does it take for dismissed charges regarding a DUInot to be considered in an employment screening?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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How long does it take for dismissed charges regarding a DUInot to be considered in an employment screening?

I have a 2 year old DUI and an 11 year old charge (that was eventually dropped) for being in a group of people charged with possession of marijuana. I am being turned down for jobs right and left with this as the excuse. How long can this remain a problem for me? I am almost 30 now and desperately unemployed! Is there anything that I can do? When does this stop being a valid excuse for employers not to hire me?

Asked on August 22, 2011 Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A criminal background check through a screening agency is a consumer report which is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, even though it's not specifically related to credit.  Generally speaking, items only remain on your consumer report for 7 years.  However, this limitation does not apply to the Department of Public Safety which compiles all the criminal history data for the State of Texas.  For a nominal fee, someone can run a criminal history on just about anyone.  You mentioned that both cases were dismissed.  If the DUI was a misdemeanor, then most likely the statute of limitations has run on that charge.  Regardless of whether the marijuana charge was a felony or misdemeanor, the statute has run on that charge as well.  This means that the State can no longer prosecutor you for these charges.  Even though the seven year rule (above) is a bit depressing, the good news is that the Texas legislature just changed the rules regarding expuctions to actually make things easier for defendants.  Your best bet is just to get both charges off your record completely so that you don't have to wait for them "to fall off"  after seven years.  Paying a filing fee is a nominal expense for freedom from a bad record.

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