If you have pending criminal charges or a previous criminal record and are in the process of looking for a job, then you might be in for an unpleasant reality check. Simply put, pending criminal charges and a criminal record have an effect on employment, often making it difficult or seemingly impossible to secure a job with pending charges or a criminal record. By understanding the challenges of searching for a job with a criminal record and knowing your options, you can ultimately make the right decisions for your future.
What Shows Up on a Criminal Background Check?
Understand that many employers these days require job applicants to undergo a criminal background check; this is something that you will likely have to submit to as a condition of your employment. In some cases, a criminal background check may even be conducted during the application process as a means of screening employees.
So, what will show up on a criminal background check? This can vary depending on the agency conducting the background investigation. In most cases, however, you can expect the following to show up on a criminal background report:
- felony or misdemeanor convictions
- current charges pending against you
- past arrests (even if charges were dropped)
- history of tax liens and bankruptcies
- other basic identifying information
Can You Be Denied Employment Based on Your Criminal Record?
You might be wondering if it’s even legal for you to be denied employment based on your criminal past alone. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s perfectly legal for a private employer to refuse employment to those with criminal records. In fact, many employers prefer not to hire those with criminal history because they believe keeping these kinds of employees out of their work environment will keep things more peaceful and calm.
Of course, anybody with a prior conviction or pending criminal charges knows that this isn’t necessarily true.
Other Employment Obstacles With a Criminal Record
In addition to private employers being able to refuse you employment based on your criminal record alone, it’s also worth noting that there are some other restrictions a criminal past can put on your career. For example, you may be unable to obtain certain state or national certifications with a criminal record. And if you have a felony, you typically cannot secure a position as a police officer (or any other position that would require you to carry a firearm) due to the fact that convicted felons are not legally able to own a firearm.
Exploring Your Options
With all this in mind, then, it makes sense that finding a job when you have any kind of a criminal record can be very challenging. So, what are your options? Fortunately, you have several.
If you have current charges pending against you, now is a good time to begin working with a reputable and experienced criminal defense lawyer, who will be able to assist you in fighting your charges or possibly getting them reduced.
On the other hand, if you already have convictions on your record that are keeping you from landing a job, you may want to see if you’re eligible or expungement or sealing/destroying of your criminal record. This way, you can enjoy a “clean slate” and will no longer have your criminal past impeding your ability to secure a steady job.
Whether you’re in the process of fighting a criminal charge or are interested in expungement to increase your employment opportunities, the fact remains that you need a lawyer to help you through the process. Feel free to contact us today for the legal assistance and representation you need.