Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. Texas Real Estate licenses are governed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. When your husband applies for a license he will have to undergo a background check. He will also be asked to disclose whether or not he has been involved in a criminal case (and if he denies it the background check will reveal it). There are no black and white answers for who cannot and cannot become a real estate agent. However, the test is whether or not the criminal conviction is related to the duties of a real estate agent. I would argue that a 19 year old felony conviction (you didn't say how it was resolved but I am assuming it was a conviction or a successful deferred adjudication) does not relate to a real estate license. At the end of the day the Commission will make a decision based on his individualized circumstances and his personal characteristics. This is impossible to predict (but certainly worth a shot). Good luck and I hope this helps.
First step: check with an experienced criminal defense attorney to see if he is eligible for any post-conviction records-cleaning remedies. Typically, even convictions that have been addressed by such remedies must be disclosed on an application for state license, but the utilization of the statutory remedy is viewed as evidence of a changed life and attitude.
Second step: what kind of affirmative good record of rehabilitation can be demonstrated? State boards and commissions credit things like charitable activities, community involvement and leadership, strong family ties and relationships, etc.
Third step: file the application. Consider engaging the services of a skilled professional licensing attorney. They can be very advantageous in crafting an effective disclosure statement --often for no more than a few hundred dollars. Expect that the app will initially be denied, then utilize the administrative appeal process where the individual facts and circumstances will get serious and particularized consideration. Again, a skilled licensing attorney can make the difference in the outcome of the appeals process.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Unfortunately, Texas does not have any remedy for post conviction expungement or sealing of the record unless the possession was charges as a minor. Mr. Lock is correct that the TREC will look at whether the felony impacts the ability to effectively represent clients (which it does not). For further guidance look at the TREC's website at www.trec.texas.gov. Good luck.
Please provide more information so that you can get an informed opinion. Was the case dismissed outright? Was the case dismissed after a pretrial diversion program was completed? Did your husband get deferred adjudication probation with no court ordered community supervision? Was the case dismissed after deferred adjudication probation was completed? Did your husband get straight probation? Did your husband get probation and then it was revoked? Did your husband do time for this offense? What state did this charge originate in? These questions need to be answered in order for an attorney to be able to intelligently advise your husband whether or not he can get his record cleared. If your husband can clear his record, then the felony charge shouldn't be much of an issue anymore. If your husband cannot clear his record, then whether he can get a real estate license is more of a question for a real estate attorney to answer. www.giardinolawfirm.com
A felony conviction will not automatically bar a person from being licensed
as a real estate agent in Texas. However, it is at the discretion of the
Texas Real Estate Commission to approve the person. It must be disclosed on
the licensing application, or it will be considered a false statement and
the person will be denied.
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