How Can I Find Employment After a Misdemeanor?
On behalf of Eisenmenger, Robinson & Peters, P.A. posted in Criminal Law on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
You’re not alone if there’s a misdemeanor on your record. Over half of all men in their 30s have some form of a criminal record. Women aren’t excluded. According to a recent study, one in three adults has been arrested at some point in their lifetime.
With arrests and convictions having lasting effects on someone’s life we know there’s many questions to consider with life after a misdemeanor.
How do criminal charges in Florida impact a person’s ability to gain employment? Will a misdemeanor (a lesser severe charge than a felony) make it more challenging to find employment? What will friends think? What about family?
We know it’s a lot to process. And we’re here to help.
Of course, finding employment after a misdemeanor is important. You’re eager to get back to a normal life. But how do potential employers see that stain on your record? And more importantly, is there anything you can do about it?
Keep scrolling to learn more about the impact of misdemeanor charges on your record and how they’ll impact your ability to get a job.
Misdemeanor Criminal Record and Getting a Job
Let’s start with some good news. Contrary to popular belief, people with a misdemeanor on their record can still get a job.
Breathe a sigh of relief.
Nothing in the law prevents you from getting a job with a misdemeanor. No law allows an employer to specifically exclude you from employment with a misdemeanor on your record.
The reality, however, is that you may find it more challenging to get hired with a ding on your record. It’s going to be up to the business owner if they feel that your misdemeanor will affect your future role in that company.
Some employers may view hiring a person with a misdemeanor as a potential liability to their business. Of course, much of this depends on a few things.
First, it may depend on the type of job you’re seeking. For instance, a job in criminal justice will be pretty hard to get with a criminal record.
Second, it may depend on the nature of your misdemeanor charge and how long ago it occurred. Many people make bad choices and mistakes as younger people, learn the hard lessons and move on from them. If it’s been some time since your conviction, you can leverage your clean record since then.
Now about that. Getting a job after a misdemeanor will depend on how you present yourself and the personal connection you can make with a potential employer. Be professional, upbeat, well-organized, and helpful. This will go a long way.
Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to submit to a background check. Most employers run a background check, and you should be prepared to address your criminal background. Sure, your criminal record can be a collateral consequence of the conviction, but it’s not the end-all-be-all.
Our team can further assist you with how to prepare. We’re always here for you. Even after your trial.
Will Your Misdemeanor Charge Show Up on Background Check?
Generally speaking, you should be prepared for your misdemeanor charge to appear on a background check.
In some cases, though, they don’t show up.
It may depend on the type of background check that the employer uses to check your background. Some are more in-depth and thorough than others.
It might also depend on where your case was handled in the criminal justice system. Many misdemeanor charges are handled at the county level and not the state level. So, if the background check only goes through state records, it may not appear.
You should, however, assume it will show up and be prepared to address it. Focusing on accomplishments since your conviction and having a few positive references can help.
Your Rights, Your Record, and the Law
Any employer has a right to decide whether they want to run a criminal background check on a potential employee. You could refuse to authorize a background check which will likely have a negative outcome for you and that particular job.
Thankfully, you aren’t always required to disclose your misdemeanor charges with jobs in logistics or skilled trades. Fields that do require a disclosure include criminal justice, education, and personal finance.
You’d have to decide, upfront, if disclosing the background is better or not. The law doesn’t require you to do so. But depending on your desired career path, you might need to.
How You Can Prepare When Job Searching
With a misdemeanor on your record and an employee background check very likely, you need a strategy for getting prepared.
Here’s a few great tips:
First, you need to prepare your statement. Keep it brief. Focus on what you’ve learned. Rehearse it in the mirror and memorize it. Your response should flow naturally.
Don’t be defensive. Don’t lie. Most employers will appreciate you owning the mistakes in judgment you’ve made. Responsibility indicates accountability and that’s something every employer is looking for. Tell them how you’re making changes in your life to avoid similar mistakes. Better yet, explain how that experience has made you a better person.
Be prepared to offer quality references who can speak to your work ethic and character beyond having a misdemeanor on your record. Have these statements printed and ready to offer to future employers.
Connect with someone who already works there and can show support for hiring you (never underestimate the friends and family connection).
You might also consider the possibility of getting your record expunged. More on this shortly.
None of these strategies guarantees that your potential employer will be willing to overlook your record. But showing who you’ve become after an ordeal is an honorable quality that you should be proud of. Never forget that.
Expunging a Conviction
One option to consider is talking with an attorney about the possibility of getting your record expunged. To be clear, expunging a record doesn’t get rid of it. You still have it.
It does, however, seal the offense from public view. This means it wouldn’t show up on a background check.
How can a record be expunged? You might qualify if:
- You have an arrest record that never became a criminal charge
- You were acquitted of charges
- You had charges that were later dismissed
- Your misdemeanor charges were when you were a minor
- Your charges were pardoned or overturned on appeal
If you think there might be any reason why a misdemeanor charge could get expunged, our team is here to listen and help.
Get Past Your Misdemeanor Charge
If you have a misdemeanor in Florida, you can still be a contributing employee following your conviction. You have to be prepared to show a potential employer why you’re not a risk. We trust that the above information will help you prove your case.
If you think your misdemeanor could be eligible to be expunged, we could help. Contact us to discuss your situation. Together, we’ll work to get things back to normal.