How to Get a Job with a Felony
April 14, 2020
Many people have been laid off, are seeking unemployment, and might be wondering how to get a job with a felony? Unemployment numbers have skyrocketed as the novel Coronavirus continues to disrupt the U.S. economy. Millions of American workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have applied for unemployment insurance. However, when our doors to businesses are open once again, the competition for jobs will stiff. Finding a job will be much more difficult. If you have a criminal record, whether a felony or something else, here’s how to better your chances of getting a job.
First, it’s important to know what’s on your criminal record, and to research the job. Traffic tickets and driving violations may not land you in trouble. For more serious criminal records like misdemeanors and felonies, most companies will raise an issue. A felony conviction certainly would, as is the most serious type of conviction – one that will also revoke your firearm rights. Ultimately, what’s on your record and how it’ll affect your application is up to the businesses’ specific policy. But, because of the record levels of unemployment, companies are very likely to be much more selective in the hiring process. Why? Because there are simply more people applying and searching for jobs.
Although there’s not a national database for employers to search for criminal records, most states make their records readily available to the public. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system provides online access to federal court cases (civil and criminal). Unfortunately, there is no federal expungement or record seal law. Therefore, federal cases are generally unable to be concealed.
Many employers conduct a background check during the hiring process. There are hundreds of different background check companies, all looking to sell your data for money. Although, employers are bound by certain restrictions when searching for records. Agencies such as the EEOC and the FTC have more information on your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
It could be helpful to lookup which type of background check you might undergo. Some companies have a form which can be submitted to request the removal of information. Also, consider how to fail a background check vs. how to pass one. Finally, many states have implemented Ban the Box policies to prevent employers from asking certain questions about criminal records. Still, consider the competitiveness of the current job market. There’s more you can do to better your odds.
2. Know your Options
To remove your criminal record as soon as possible, you must know your options. Employers just a month ago might have hired someone with a minor offense. The job market was thriving, and the unemployment rate was relatively low. But, because of the economic havoc that the Coronavirus has created, things have drastically changed. If you have a felony on your criminal record, make no mistake that it will hold you back. Even less serious offenses like misdemeanors and arrest records will now be a serious issue. The competition that is about to explode in the U.S. jobs market will be unprecedented.
Generally, unless something is done, a criminal record will last forever. Luckily, many states have passed expungement and record sealing laws to help remove your past mistakes. Some states like New Jersey have enacted Clean Slate laws to expand eligibility. It is crucial to understand that if any of these options are available to you, you must act now. The expungement process is a legal process that takes some time and effort. It is important to get started today, so that you are ready to pass a background check.
The answer of “How to Get a Job with a Felony” is quite simple. You must legally remove your criminal record from the public view. There are hundreds of different private and public background check options available to employers. But, a court order to conceal your record will prevent an employer from unlawful discrimination based upon that offense. Without this, you are likely facing a number of equally qualified applicants with clear criminal records.
3. Consult an Experienced Professional
Consult with an experienced professional at a law firm to determine if you’re eligible to seal or expunge your criminal record. Trying to get a job with a felony or any other criminal record can be tough. The legal field can be difficult to navigate without an attorney’s assistance. The first step is to see whether you qualify for legal relief. Try our free, secure eligibility test to see whether you qualify. The next step is to begin the process right away. This is not a time to delay any longer. The process of expunging or sealing a criminal record is just that, a process.
The above graphic outlines the typical process to seal or expunge a criminal record. From start to finish, it could take several months, depending on several factors. Every state has different options, and all have varying requirements. That’s why it’s best to consult or hire a law firm to take care of your record. There are several benefits of doing this, but the greatest of all is that an attorney is going to work hard to make sure the process is done correctly. If documents are filed wrong, then the process can cost you more time and money. This will also expand the overall length of time where you’re waiting for a clean record.
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