Will a criminal conviction impact my job?

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in Virginia, it can impact your life long after you successfully complete your sentence because you will have a permanent criminal record. One important aspect of your life that can be affected is your ability to obtain employment. 

Disclosing Your Criminal Conviction on a Job Application #

Many employers ask about criminal convictions on their job applications. When deciding whether you need to disclose your criminal conviction, you should read the questions very carefully to determine exactly what is being asked. Here are some common questions you could see:

  • Have you ever been charged with a crime?
  • Have you been convicted of a crime?
  • Have you been convicted of a felony?

Honesty is important when answering these questions because you could have more problems if you are dishonest and your employer later discovers it. However, if the question only asks if you were convicted of a felony and your conviction was for misdemeanor offense, like a DUI or reckless driving, you could truthfully answer no to this question.

The same holds true for telling your current employer of your conviction. If there is a policy or rule requiring this disclosure, you should tell your boss what happened.

How an Employer Can Find Out About Your Criminal Conviction #

Many employers are also conducting background checks of individuals they’re interested in hiring. Companies who have government contracts and government employers may have specific requirements about reporting arrests and convictions and will conduct a background check to verify this information. Generally, a background check will only check for convictions, but your arrest record could be found if the interviewer searches other databases such as court records.

Handling Questions About a Criminal Conviction in a Job Interview #

While you may hope that a potential employer will not ask about your criminal history, it is best to be prepared for these questions. Here are some tips on how to discuss your criminal past:

  • Be honest, but do not disclose unnecessary details.
  • Focus on the positive assets you have to offer if hired before discussing your conviction.
  • Discuss your conviction for a few minutes only. Keep the conversation positive by talking about the lessons you learned or how the experience changed your life.

It is a judgment call about whether to disclose a conviction if you are not asked about it in a job interview. If you are concerned that this information may be discovered, you may want to be forthright and discuss your criminal past.

Do you have questions about how a criminal conviction will affect your job prospects? Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Midlothian to mount a strong defense to the criminal charges you face? Start a live chat to schedule a consultation with me to get your questions answered and learn how I can assist you.