Is Your Criminal Record Keeping You From Working?
Sometimes, we make mistakes. The most severe can result in jail or prison time, However, even after you have served your time, problems may still arise, most often when trying to find a job. Rightly or wrongly, many employers turn down those with criminal records, fearing dishonesty or worse. However, some procedures do exist that can either amend your record, or at the very least, increase your chances of landing an interview and then a job. Very often, good criminal defense lawyers may be able to assist.
Background Checks in Texas
In Texas, background checks usually consist of public record information, available via the Department of Public Safety. In most cases, there is a rule which permits a prospective employer to go back up to seven years in your criminal history. However, some jobs require deeper scrutiny – for example, the Texas Business & Commerce Code allows employers to investigate back to an applicant’s 18th birthday if the job in question will pay more than $75,000 per year. Other exceptions exist as well. However, there are certain things an employer cannot find out, even when investigating you. For example, any conviction or plea that has been expunged or sealed (records of minors are often sealed) may not be viewed by prospective employers.
Handling the Interview
Every job interview is different, but if you go into yours prepared, you have a higher chance of being hired, even with a record. There are several ways you can increase your odds. Some include:
- Try and anticipate the questions that will be asked. Depending on the type of job, the questions at the interview may be tailored in a way where you can truthfully answer in a way more likely to get you hired. For example, if a prospective employer asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony, and you have not – but you have filed a plea of no contest, you may answer truthfully that no, you have not been convicted.
- Offer information up front, if possible. An employer will appreciate having the amount of work they must do decreased, and you will be in control of how your story is told.
- Always tell the truth! If an employer discovers you have lied, you will not be hired, and there is a high likelihood that you would be terminated for being untruthful even if you get the job. Also, Texas law carries criminal penalties for lying about one’s criminal record to obtain a job in some fields, such as child care or any kind of governmental work.
Seek Help From McKinney Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are trying to find legitimate work with a conviction on your record, the road can be difficult. Consulting with a Frisco criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at the firm of Rosenthal & Wadas may be able to obtain an order expunging or sealing your criminal record, or provide other information and help that can put you in a better position. Contact our office today at (972) 369-0577 or via our website to discuss your options.