When a court convicts you of a serious crime such as a felony, it can make life hard on you, and not just because you lose some of your rights. When you interview for jobs, you might have to explain your criminal history. A pardon may help you make a fresh start, but it is only one step in the process.
You may have heard about people who have had their criminal records expunged. If you have received a pardon, you may believe that no one will learn about your prior conviction. However, acquiring a pardon does not mean you have received an expunction.
You must pursue an expunction
According to the Texas Board of Paroles and Pardons, receiving a pardon does not lead to an automatic expunction of your criminal record. A pardon only entitles you to receive an expunction. Therefore, you must contact the proper state court to request an expunction. Furthermore, the expunction relates to the arrest records that involve your conviction, so there is no guarantee the government will expunge another offense that you have not received a pardon for.
Pardons do not restore all job eligibility
Keep in mind that even with a pardon and an expunction, Texas law does not restore your eligibility for any job you pursue. There are some jobs that require professional licenses granted by state licensing boards which have standards that you must meet in order to qualify for a license, even with a pardon. Also, a pardon does nothing to make you eligible again to become a licensed peace officer job in the state.
It is also possible that if your conviction was a high profile case, an employer might find out about your criminal record even with your record expunged. Still, even if a pardon and an expunction do not restore all your avenues for finding work, they may still open up a lot of possibilities for a satisfying career.