Employment Denied – Criminal Record – Expungement

Employment Denied – Criminal Record – Expungement

Obtaining employment today is difficult enough. Obtaining employment with a criminal record is next to impossible. According to the Justice Department over 20 million Americans have criminal records. Job applicants with criminal records face daunting barriers to obtaining employment.  Yet neither federal nor state laws protect such job applicants from what is clearly a form of legal discrimination.

Don’t Hire” Practices Of Companies

Most large employers maintain a strict “don’t-hire” policy that provides for the automatic rejection of all job applicants who have criminal records, irrespective of the type of crime that was committed, the age of the conviction, or the degree to which the job applicant has been rehabilitated and ready to work. Ironically, these types of employment practices make it problematic for a person with criminal record to ever become a law abiding, tax-paying citizen without a job.

There has never been as much job applicant screening as there is today. One reason for all the caution is that employers are under a legal duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring new employees. This includes doing a complete background check on a job candidate. Should an employer not exercise reasonable care in the hiring process and the subject employee subsequently injures or harms another person during employment, the employer can be held legally responsible for the damages caused by that employee under the accepted body of law known as negligent hiring and supervision.

Qualifying For Expungement

One option for the ex-offender is to seek legal counsel to determine whether they qualify for expungement of their criminal record. The requirements, procedure and eligibility for expungement can vary between state jurisdictions. The relief available will depend on two major factors: first, whether the conviction was for a serious felony and second, the age of the conviction. It is irrelevant whether the ex-offender pled guilty or no contest to the criminal offense.

What Expungement Will Not Do For You

Expungement, in most jurisdictions, does not erase a criminal record. It instead puts a note on your record that the conviction has been dismissed. Further, should you be charged with another crime after your expungement, the expungement will still count as a prior for purposes of penalty enhancement.

Owning A Weapon

If you could not possess a firearm because of your record, an expungement will not change the situation.

Suspended License – Expungement Will Not Change Driving Record

If your drivers license was suspended, in most jurisdictions, an expungement will not operate to un-suspend your driving privilege.

Benefits Of Expungement

Expungement, when successfully performed, not only brings closure and relief for the ex-offender, it opens the door to reentry to the workplace. There are also other benefits such as becoming eligible for housing assistance, the ability to obtain a professional license and even being eligible for student loans. It can also help you with housing applications.

Not All Crimes Qualify For Expungement

The severity of the crime will play a determinative role in whether expungement will be granted by the court. Many jurisdictions prohibit expungement for violent crimes such as murder, rape, child molestation, and arson.  Most jurisdictions require that a minimum amount of time must pass (usually seven years) after the successful completion of probation before an ex-offender can legally apply to the court for expungement. Finally, there must not have been any arrests between the time period probation was successfully completed, up until the time the court considers the ex-offenders application for expungement.

Certificate Of Rehabilitation

If you do not qualify for expungement, in some jurisdictions, you may qualify for a certificate of rehabilitation. A certificate of rehabilitation may help individuals apply for certain types of employment even if they do not qualify having her record cleared through the expungement process.

The best advice is to consult with a criminal defense attorney who if familiar with the local rules concerning expungement and by visiting GotTrouble.com for information on state criminal laws, criminal procedure, and expungement services.

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