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Criminal Records and Employment

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When looking for employment, a criminal record can be a significant hindrance. The information in this post should help you decide how you will handle your job search.

What to Avoid 

Look for work that is not related to your conviction or arrest. For example, if you received a DUI, do not apply for positions that require you to drive. If you stole money, do not apply for a job as a bank teller. Background checks will focus on these areas based on the responsibilities of the position.  

Be Honest

When applying to various positions, you will commonly come across the section that asks:
• Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
• Have you ever pleaded guilty, no contest, or been convicted of a crime?

Remember that this includes both felonies and misdemeanors. When you see this question on an application, record the truthful answer. The application is a legal document. Even if they do not do a background check at the time of hire, you can be fired if it comes to light that you lied on the application.

When working with an Employment Network to locate job leads, it is essential to disclose any criminal offenses or arrests. Doing so will not necessarily stop you from getting their help. It will help the employment specialist know which jobs to send your way and alert them that you may need expungement services.

Expungement Options 

Most employers check backgrounds as far as seven to ten years. If your conviction is out of that range, you still must answer honestly on your application. It may be best to expunge or seal your record.

Some offenses are qualified for expungement as soon as you completed the court-mandated requirements when you were convicted. This period could be when completing your probationary period.

The information you will need to file for expungement are:
• Dates of the arrest or conviction
• Your case number
• The code section of your arrest or conviction
• The county where your conviction or arrest took place

You can go to the court you were convicted in and obtain forms for expungement. There are expungement clinics that can help you with a low cost or even free if you find the forms too confusing to complete independently.

Once your record is expunged, you can honestly answer no to being convicted of a crime. Polishing the Professional can help you navigate the job application process, even when you have a criminal record. Call (877) 765-4748 today to get started.

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About the Author:

As the Career Center Manager (CCM), Lorraine Brown is the glue that keeps our program operating efficiently and effectively. She is the linkage between the clients, staff, and community resources. Ms. Brown organizes program activities and ensures the program has the required assets, tools, and resources needed to serve our clients effectively. The CCM conducts assessments and consults with the client’s management and support team to determine the appropriate direction. The CCM manages the career center employment specialists, career center assistants, and career center professional development coaches.
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