“The Great Resignation” is upon us. People are leaving the workforce in droves as they reevaluate what gives their lives meaning. But many of those same people are pivoting to new jobs, excited about taking on fresh opportunities.

For some, however, such as those with a criminal record, applying for a job is a fraught experience. A routine background check may be a major hurdle to achieving a fresh start, and not only in employment.

Applicants with a criminal record may also struggle to rent an apartment, earn professional credentials, register for some licenses, enlist in the military, qualify for government assistance, vote, or even enroll in law school.

According to a 2013 University of Texas report, Harris County arrests more people every year than any other Texas county. Harris County is home to the state’s largest number of ex-offenders, with nearly 15,000 individuals released into the Houston area each year. In 2010, the overall unemployment rate in Harris County was 8.5%, but for parolees, that number was 46%. These barriers to thriving as a productive member of society are significant and lasting. Fortunately, there is a legal remedy for those who qualify.

If you have a criminal history and wish to clear your record, there are two options – expunction and nondisclosure. If you don’t qualify for one, you may qualify for the other, but making that distinction can be difficult and the process a bit murky. With this blog post, we are providing links to resources that may clear the confusion and help you get a clean start.


TJB Rules & Forms – Orders of Nondisclosure (Forms)

Clean Slate Texas

Clear Your Record – Harris County

Texas Fresh Start Guide

City of Houston Municipal Courts Expunge / Non-Disclosure (Forms)

Texas Municipal Courts Education Center – Expunctions, Juvenile Records

Texas Fair Defense Project – Record Clearing