What do I do about a felony when applying for jobs? 34 Answers as of May 23, 2011

What do I do about a felony when applying for jobs?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would advise contacting an attorney regarding this issue. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, you should retain an attorney to assist you further. If an employer requests that an applicant disclose any prior felony convictions, the consequences may be far worse if an applicant with a prior conviction withholds that information and it's discovered later. Background checks are cheap and most larger employers will run them as part of their screening process. Generally, a better policy is to be honest about prior criminal convictions with job applications. The answer is a little more complicated though if the prior offense was resolved through some type of diversionary program such as the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, "7411" status, or other types of diversionary programs. I would recommend consulting with an attorney first for specific legal advice for your particular circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/23/2011
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP | Locke T. Clifford
The best thing you can do is to be honest. If you were not convicted, make sure the potential employer knows you were charged but that the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty. If you were convicted, explain the situation to the potential employer and make sure you tell him that you paid your debt to society and did what the judge ordered you to do and have learned a lot from the situation and have moved on. If you have a charge on your record that was dismissed or where you were found not guilty, look into getting it expunged from your record.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 4/26/2011
Eversole Law, LLC
Eversole Law, LLC | Steven Eversole
Unfortunately, Alabama does not have an expungement statute. There are some possible remedies, i.e. pardon from the governor of Alabama for instance. There could also be other possible remedies based upon your situation. I encourage anyone with Alabama Criminal Defense questions to call my office or to review my website.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/11/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
You can get a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities to get certain jobs, but the employer may still not want to hire you if you are a convicted felon. It depends on the age and nature of the conviction. Some employers do not even do a record check, others don't care about convictions. Don't lie on the application form, just explain the circumstances and hope your other qualities outweigh the conviction.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/8/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
It depends on what the application questions ask. It also depends on whether or not you were adjudicated guilty of the felony. If the court withheld adjudication then a question on an application that reads "have you ever been convicted of a felony?", can be answered "no" because you were not adjudicated guilty. That is what you need to find out in order to know how to respond to applications. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/7/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That's really a human resources question. If you completed your probation and have paid your fines, and three years have gone by with no new convictions, you may be able to have your felony dismissed and vacated. There are a class of crimes that cannot be vacated. Sex crimes, serious violent felonies including murder, kidnapping and alcohol offences such as DUI, Vehicular Assault and Vehicular Homicide cannot be vacated. All of the above assumes your convictions were in Washington State. I am experienced in this area of law and firearms rights restoration. Please take a moment to call me at the number below. We may be able to handle this issue over the phone.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/5/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You should disclose that you have a felony conviction if asked or if it is a question on an application, because if you do not and they find out ( as it is very easy to check with computers and they do check ) they will probably fire you for not disclosing it , whereas if you disclose it but provide an explanation you may still get the job.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/5/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    You could apply with the court to expunge (or seal) the conviction from your record. Assuming both your record and the conviction are eligible for expunction, you can essentially remove the felony conviction from your record. If for some reason you cannot expunge your conviction, you would have to disclose the conviction if your prospective employer asks about it. Depending what it was for and how recent it is, your hopeful new employer will take that into consideration with the rest of your pluses and minuses.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You should always advise about a felony conviction. Also advise that you have completed your sentence, if this is true,and be prepared to tell of the details of the offense. Otherwise, you may face being terminated with extreme prejudice if you are not truthful about a prior conviction after you have been hired. There is no expungement bill in the State of Alabama and one is pending before the State Legislature. Many other states have expungement laws as well as non-disclosure laws that may provide you the relief that you need to be able to prevent the need of listing a prior felony.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry In Michigan you could seek an expungement. The requirements are that it be 5 years from the conviction and that you have no other convictions for any other misdemeanor or felony. If you meet these requirements and wish to retain counsel to represent you, you may contact me to arrange a mutually convenient date and time to meet. I represent persons in Wayne Oakland and Macomb Counties.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You may be able to do something about that felony. You need to speak with your attorney or contact one such as myself that works on criminal defense cases and expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    I would think you reveal it. If you have not been to prison, you might expunge it. However, you still have to reveal it if applying for a government job or seeking a state licence (other than a CDL).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Hire a lawyer to do a 17b motion to reduce it to a misdemeanor, then petition the court for an expungement. Call a lawyer to see if you are eligible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You can always expunge it. However, you must disclose any felonies if you are asked about them for jobs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You will need to answer truthfully any questions concerning a felony arrest or conviction, if specifically asked on the application or interview. If the conviction and/or the arrest has been expunged, you may truthfully answer no when asked if you have a felony arrest or conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You can consider getting the conviction expunged; it would help in obtaining and keeping employment. Many felony and misdemeanor convictions [and now recently included are infractions] can sometimes be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if it was not for certain listed Sexual and Domestic Violence crimes [PC 286(c), PC288, PC288a(c), PC288.5, PC289(j), PC261.5(d)], and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively reduced to a misdemeanor, if necessary, and then withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does not 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction. If you're serious about doing this, and you think you qualify under those rules, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    You need to disclose the information if asked on an application.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Depending on what the conviction was for and what your sentence was, you may be eligible to seek a dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4. As long as you weren't sentenced to state prison, you can apply to have it dismissed. It's worth discussing the particulars face to face with a local criminal defense attorney to see whata options are available to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    There is nothing you can do but tell the truth. If they do a background check they will find out.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    I'm not quite sure of what you want to know, but it appears you want to know whether to admit the conviction or not. Actually, there is little choice in the matter and you must admit any conviction for any crime when asked or it is grounds for denial of employment or dismissal if and when it is later discovered. It will usually be discovered if you work for any company that does a background check. If you want to know how to get rid ofa felony, I'm afraid the answer is there is no way to get rid of it, unless you live outside of NY or were under 19 years old at the time of the event. Then there may be some opportunity to do something, but even that's not likely. Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    If the felony is a "wobbler," you can move to have it reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged.Once it is expunged, you do not have to reveal it unless you are applying for a position with a governmental agency, or where the law requires that you do. If you do not expunge it, you need to disclose it or you can be terminated once a background check reveals it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You'll have to be more specific about "what do I do." If they ask you if you have ever been convicted of a felony then you need to honestly answer that you did. Depending on what the felony is and what your record entails, you may be able to get it expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    There's nothing to do. Be ready to explain why you committed the felony, OR even better, why you pled guilty to the felony charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You could possible seek an expungment, or you could simply be honest about it and offer an explanation, or mitigating factors. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Tell the truth. You can apply for a pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, however, approximately 2% of those are granted according to their website.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    All you can do is hope to be ready to explain them and hope they do not matter to the perspective employer. At this time only some felonies (minor drug offenses of a certain age) can be sealed so they would not show up on a background check.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Not much unless you're eligible for a pardon from the governor. (See Va. Code Sec. 19.2-392.2 et seq.)
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Depending what crime the felony conviction was for, when you were convicted and whether you have had any subsequent convictions, you may be able to "vacate" the conviction and thereafter be able answer that you have NOT been convicted of that crime.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    If it is a class C felony (and is not a DUII or sexually related), you should see if it can be expunged. If it is expunged, then it will not show on your record, and you can honestly say that you have not been convicted of a crime. If the felony is not able to be expunged, then I would recommend thinking of a good way to explain it when applying for jobs. If it happened a long time ago, this is a good start.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg | Michael Berg
    Unless you have had it reduced to a misdemeanor and/or expunged from your record, it must be reported on your job applications. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If your question is how to remove something from your criminal record in order to avoid disclosing it on job applications then the answer is that certain offenses can be eliminated from your record in Louisiana via a process referred to as expungement. The ability to expunge your records will be determined by the exact charges on your record and the current disposition of your sentence (completed, suspended, deferred, etc). Expungements can often be handled without any office or court visits on your part when handled by an experienced attorney. Our firm handles a large number of expungements throughout the state and we would like to invite you to contact us at the information on this page for a free case evaluation to determine whether or not we would be able to assist you with your potential criminal expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You should be honest and explain it to the employer. Otherwise, if you have only one conviction ever, of any kind of crime, you can move to have it expunged. Click on the link at the left to discuss. Thanks.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    The Boerst Law Office
    The Boerst Law Office | Bruce Boerst
    If they ask, you disclose it and explain.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/4/2011
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