Every action, whether good or bad, has consequences. For those whose actions are deemed punishable by law, the ramifications are never pleasing, and even in instances where there was merely a suspicion of an offense but no conviction, the impact can still be quite detrimental. For the residents of Texan Harris County, arrest records can be accompanied by a number of undesired and unforeseen limitations.
Contrary to popular belief, arrest records and criminal records are both permanent documents. Regardless of whether the offense was a misdemeanor or felony, arrest records will have the potential to cause severe damages to the accused for a number of years if no sort of action is taken to repair the records. A misdemeanour is defined as a minor offense that generally is punished with monetary fines while a felony is an offense considered to be of high seriousness punishable by a minimum of one year in jail or in extreme cases death.
When an individual is arrested, their personal information such as their full name, date of birth, social security number, and ethnicity will be documented on file on their arrest record. This document will also bear their mug shots as well as all the details related to the offense as well as the time and place of the arrest and the arresting agency that performed the action. In instances where there is a court hearing and a subsequent conviction then that forms an individual’s criminal record.
There are a number of advances that can be restricted or impacted as a result of the presence of an arrest record. While the list is extensive, here are some of the repercussions people who have a “rap sheet” face:
Creates employment obstacles
Within every county and state across the United States, employers are interested in surveying the past of all aspiring applicants. As such the Harris County criminal records would be important documents for them to analyze to determine whether or not the candidate is a suitable one to occupy the position. Though for some the arrest (or conviction as the case may apply) will not be of significance depending on the offense, many organizations are always more interested in hiring someone who has an untarnished reputation and record to match.
By extension, though in some cases the approval or denial is left to the employer’s discretion, for certain organizations an arrest (for whatever charge) can automatically disqualify an individual from ever being considered for the post. These include working at schools, working with the disabled, or working in law enforcement agencies.
Most if not all property owners will perform a background check online before handing over the keys to the estate. Those buyers who have a clean slate generally face no scrutiny, however for those who do not there arises concerns relating to the devaluation of the property as well as safety of those in close proximity. In doing the background check they will also uncover information related to an individual’s credit history and previous residential history as well. While all documents are deemed important, the criminal history is usually the one placed on high alert.
As with the prospective employer, is it unlawful for an opportunity to be denied solely on the basis of a dubious record on file. As a result, the action taken is simply to accept the application of another candidate.
Complicates loan applications
Before turning over any capital, the institutions have to first acquire some sort of assurance that the loanee will repay in accordance with the agreed terms. While there is no way to obtain guarantee of such a phenomenon based on past activities, an individual with a dubious record will be considered a higher risk than one without as there will be questions about their character. Though as a resident of Harris County the individual may be considered an esteemed member of the society, the documentation held will still work to discredit and hamper their opportunities.
Notably, what should be taken into account is the fact that county-wide searches are usually very easy to execute. This is as a result of the more confined geographical and demographical database storing the relevant records in comparison to a state or federal database. Additionally, as all these documents are classified as public records, it is quite easy for an interested party to conduct a free background check on any of the county’s residents. It is for this reason that people are advised to be as honest and open about any existing or previous arrests on file as the respective agencies has it within their powers to verify whether or not what has been said is indeed accurate.
Though online resources are becoming more popular, the best way residents can access their Harris County arrest records is to go directly to the sheriff’s office and follow the requisite procedures. According to the Freedom of Information Act each individual is entitled to receive a copy of their records from the controlling agencies.
A disheartening reality for many residents lies in the knowledge that the offense for which they were arrested was as a result of a minor lapse in judgment. The reason for the offense will bear little to no significance as it relates to the details listed on the arrest record. Additionally, in many cases the offender is likely to never repeat the offense (or any another offense), however the record will show that there was a blemish and the implications of this are immeasurable. Therefore, if an individual has been affected by a criminal record he/she should be informed on the different ways to apply for expungement.