In the United States, a criminal record can affect your ability to find employment. This is especially true if you are convicted of a felony. A criminal record can also prevent you from getting certain professional licenses or housing.
A criminal record may even disqualify you from voting or serving on a jury in some cases. If you have been convicted of a crime, it is essential to understand how your criminal record may impact your life. You may be able to take steps to try and mitigate the effects of your criminal record. Talk to an attorney about your options.
Types of Criminal Records
There are three types of criminal records: unsupervised, supervised, and non-disclosure
Unsupervised Criminal Record
An unsupervised record is a record that has not been restricted or limited in any way. These records are open to the public. They are often searchable by employers, landlords, etc. A person with an unsupervised criminal record may face many challenges after being released from incarceration.
You can appeal to have your unsupervised criminal record sealed or expunged in some cases. This means that the record will be marked as expunged and will no longer be available to employers, landlords, etc. In general, however, expungement is only available to people with nonviolent misdemeanor convictions. If you were convicted of a felony or another crime involving violence, this won’t be available.
Supervised Criminal Record
In general, a supervised criminal record may make it more challenging for an individual with a criminal record to find employment and housing. However, the interaction between the employer and the potential employee will be limited. That is to say, if you have a supervised criminal record, an employer will not be able to ask about your criminal history until after they hire you.
A non-disclosure record functions like an expunged criminal record. However, it also prevents private organizations from gathering information about your past convictions. For example, real estate databases are often used to screen individuals before renting an apartment or purchasing a home. If you have a non-disclosure record, it will be as though your past convictions never existed.
How a Criminal Record Can Affect Employment
In general, a criminal record can make it difficult for someone to find employment. Some employers will not hire people with criminal records. The nature of the crime may even be a factor in whether or not an employer offers someone employment. For example, someone convicted of identity theft will have a more difficult time finding work than someone convicted of embezzlement.
The length of time which has passed since your last drug conviction may play a role in whether or not you can obtain employment. For example, some employers will deny someone who was recently convicted of a drug crime employment because they may be considered to be unreliable. On the other hand, some employers will not consider how much time has passed since your conviction if you have stayed out of trouble and obtained re-training or additional education. In that case, they may offer you employment regardless of your past conviction if you have the skills and experience required to perform the job.
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