How do I explain to a prospective employer about my record? 3 Answers as of July 26, 2011In December 2009, I was convicted of Reckless Driving in the state of Michigan. It is considered a misdemeanor here. The events that occurred were as follows. In September, 2009, I went out with some of my fellow teacher friends. We had a couple of drinks and went dancing. My one friend had never been to the area and parked her car at the city park, which was a little ways away because she wanted free parking. When we left the establishment, I told her that I did not think it was safe for her to walk to the park to find her car and I would take her there since my car was parked much closer. Upon pulling out of the parking lot to go find her car, I inadvertently pulled out in front of a police officer. After following me, without me being aware, he pulled me over. I was told that I cut him off as I came out of the parking lot and failed to use my turn signal twice. He asked me if I had been drinking. I said yes. He then gave me a breathalyzer test and charged me with an OWI. I did hire a lawyer and the lawyer found flaws in the administering of my breathalyzer test. The case was brought to court and I was convicted of a misdemeanor of Reckless Driving. My license was suspended for 90 days; I did 60 hours of community service, and received 6 points on my license. Unfortunately, the school I was teaching at was closed due to budget cuts and I am currently out searching for a new teaching position. If I am offered a teaching position, I will need to fill out an application asking if I have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor. I will have to answer yes. I will also be fingerprinted. The misdemeanor will come up on my record. How do I explain my situation to a prospective employer without telling more than is needed, but being honest? Will I ever be hired for another teaching job? This is the only thing on my criminal record and I haven’t even been pulled over for speeding since. I am afraid that my teaching career is over. I am very remorseful
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
You are correct, if a criminal history check is run, the conviction will appear. Therefore, honesty is the best policy. Since it is a closed investigation, the police report may be available to a prospective employer through the freedom of information act. You should disclose the conviction if asked and offer a brief explanation. You are not the first teacher to have an OWI charge or other traffic related offense on your record. More importantly, if you have an excellent teaching record and can show that drinking is not a problem, you chances of being hired increase. To plan on how to present this, each situation where you may have to disclose will be different. You may wish to speak with your attorney for advise on appropriate presentation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
Most employers only ask if you have been convicted of a felony. But if they do ask if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, then you should be honest and say yes because even if they would not have not hired you for such a conviction, they probably would not hire you once they found out you lied to them. Yes, Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor, but I would be surprised if that would keep you from a teaching job since it doesn't seem like a crime of moral turpitude. Just be honest and you can use your clean record before and since to show what such an anomaly it is. If you have no other convictions of any kind on your record, you can apply to have it expunged after five years.
Answer Applies to: Michigan