Restrictions After a Felony Conviction
Time in prison is often not the only consequence of a felony conviction in Texas. There are also many statutes, administrative rules, state court rules, and federal court rules that may further restrict a person with a felony conviction on their record in Texas. This collection attempts to bring together many of these restrictions for easier access by the public.
About This Collection
The creation of this collection was prompted by a request from the Austin Public Library for a listing of restrictions on people convicted of felonies. State Law Library staff began to compile one with the assistance of the Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney.
First published in 2002, the resulting list covered over 165 statutes, administrative rules, and court rules, but it was only available in print. This revised online edition has been expanded to include over 300 restrictions. In this online edition, we have also annotated each restriction with tags that can help users easily identify the restriction's subject matter as well any professional, occupational, or business licenses that may be affected by a felony conviction.
Not a Comprehensive Collection
This is not a complete listing of all restrictions on people convicted of felonies. We include here only those that the library has been able to identify. We recommend you also consult the National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction from the Council of State Governments, a searchable online database containing the results of a study aiming to collect the consequences that ex-offenders face in various U.S. jurisdictions. That study was conducted by the National Institute of Justice as directed by the U.S. Congress.
Not All Felonies Are the Same
Also note that restrictions may vary by the nature of a conviction. We have included restrictions that do not explicitly use the term felony but that include acts often classified as felonies or that may be classified as felonies under certain circumstances(e.g., enhancement). We also include restrictions that refer to criminal history or criminal background checks as well as restrictions that refer to acts that may be interpreted as deceptive or fraudulent even if there is no explicit mention of a felony conviction in the language of the law. Our aim was to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
Details Are Important
Whether a conviction is subject to a particular statute may be determined not only by the language of the statute but also by court interpretation. Determining the impact of one's criminal record is complex. For example, consider a person whose felony conviction has been “set aside” pursuant to Article 42A.701 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Because the conviction has been “set aside,” it is possible that the person is not prohibited by Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code from possessing a firearm. However, that same person may be disqualified from serving as a licensed county jailer or peace officer because of the language contained in Section 1701.312 of the Texas Occupations Code.
It is important to know how the court finally disposed of a criminal case so that you can examine a law that places a restriction on a person with a criminal conviction. We urge you to seek advice from an attorney if you have any questions about how the law applies to you.
If you have questions about this collection, please Ask a Librarian.