Spending your life with a felony conviction can’t be easy, but you have to face this situation. Instead of giving up on the unfortunate life incidents, you have to motivate yourself to meet upcoming challenges. You may have limited options with a criminal record, but it can’t stop your life. You have to realize that people are willing for your help. They can even forgive a person with a suspicious past.
No doubt that living with your criminal record can increase complications in your life, but you can’t make it a reason for failure. You can lay the foundation of a bright future with your good behavior, hard work, and motivation.
When a person is arrested for any felony, he has to take his legal defense seriously. Felony convictions are serious than misdemeanor offenses. The felony convictions can land you in prison. A defendant of a felony crime has to pay a hefty fine, but the persistent effects of criminal convictions can be long after releasing an offender from jail.
It is difficult to ensure the time when the convictions turn ugly. Sometimes, offenders have to deal with unforgiving family members and friends. Regardless of everything, time is an excellent healer for most wounds. You have to be patent and understand that you were at fault. Honestly, accept your mistake and make sure to avoid it in the future.
Legal Penalties of Felonies
Based on the nature of the criminal conviction and your life objectives, it can be easy to live a normal life. A defendant of felony charges have to live with any of these consequences:
- Disqualification for a particular employment, education, and housing programs
- Incapability to own any firearm.
- Incapacity to seek a public office
- Loss of possible voting privileges
If an individual were convicted of sexual offenses, he would not work in the community education system. You may not get facilities for these offenses. A criminal record with white-collar crimes can’t get a job in the financial sector. He is not eligible to work in a retail establishment as a salesclerk. Each business follows a standard practice of background checks. Even a job application necessitates applicants to reveal the critical details of past criminal activity.
Moreover, each criminal offense becomes a part of national and local databases. Unlike minor crimes and traffic violations, felony convictions always stick around. You have to wait for a long duration to get the advantage of expungement. During your waiting period, you have to work hard to compile a positive record that proves you a productive member of the world and your society. After these efforts, you may get the advantage of criminal record expungement.
However, expungement may not remove a conviction of felony from public databases, but it can seal your criminal records for the public. Sealed records will increase your employment opportunities. If you think that you can impress a judge by making positive changes in your life, you move in the right direction. It would help if you discussed the possibilities of expunging your felony convictions from your history with a qualified attorney. Keep in mind that particular crimes, such as aggravated assaults, DUI violations, and sexual offenses, may not be expunged.
Understand the Procedure of Expungement
Expungement is a legal procedure to seal or destroy the records of a case. Every state offers this facility, but you have to consider specific rules and regulations before applying for record expungement. Examples of record cleaning/clearing services are non-disclosure orders, evacuating a conviction, setting a conviction aside, record sealing, and expungement.
If you want to get this service, you have to obtain accurate documents from the court. These documents will contain relevant information for the expungement petition. This information is added to an expungement application. You will file this application with supporting documents (vary in each state).
The appeal is submitted to a prosecutor’s office or district attorney for their evaluation. They provide their response to your petition after reviewing it. The court will set a hearing date after receiving your petition to take a decision. The timeframe may vary for each court’s whole expungement procedure, such as 2 to 6 months.
Effects of Expungement
After your conviction or arrest is sealed, vacated, set aside, or expunged, you may feel confident while applying for housing or jobs. Expungement can remove your criminal history or seal it. This record will be accessible by higher authorities for background checks on a higher-level.
Eligibility for Record Expungement
Aptness necessities for expungement may vary among states. Some misdemeanor and felony offenses are eligible to be sealed and expunged, such as:
- Shoplifting or petty theft
- Possession of controlled substances (marijuana, etc.)
- DV (Domestic Violence)
- Assault or battery with a deadly weapon or without a deadly weapon
- Burglary or robbery
- Receiving a stolen property
- Prostitution and more
Tips to Address a Criminal History in Job Interviews
For a candidate with an offensive background, a question about his record can be difficult to handle. The questions about legal issues can make you uncomfortable during an interview. There is no need to lose your confidence. You can change the negative perspective of an interviewer by discussing your talent.
Mention your History as Soon as Possible
It seems counterintuitive to mention your conviction history early. It will give you maximum control of the situation. By disclosing this information before their questions about it can increase your trust. If an interviewer notices your conviction history, he will try to dig to find out more information. You can share your history with them in a better way, such as:
“I would like to share the fact that I spent (x) years at one correctional facility. This incident is (x) years old, and I have learned this (list 2 to 3 learning lessons) from it. Explain to them how this incident has changed your life and how you can use these lessons for the betterment of their company.”
Almost 2 to 3 minutes are enough for this explanation. You have to do this with confidence instead of waiting and pausing for their reactions. It is not necessary to mention your crime. If the interview is interested to know, he will ask.
Timing if Essential
Your straightforward behavior will give an impression to interviewers that you are truthful. Humans often make mistakes, but it is not easy to admit your mistake. It needs the courage to admit your mistake and learn from it.
Keep in mind that you can’t hide it from your potential employer. He will do a background check and find it ultimately. There is no need to avoid these questions, but try to face them with courage. You can’t list them on your cover letter or resume. Discussing these records with interviewers personally will be good.
Get Advantage of Networking
Potential employers don’t like to hire a person with criminal records. If you can get a recommendation from a trusted person, you can get a good job. An employer can oversee your criminal record.
If you are searching for a job, try to explore your personal networks, such as family and friends, and ask about available jobs. They can help you to get a good job.
Start Your Business
If you are unable to find a job after all your efforts, you can commence business. You can work as a freelancer because these contracts are available without sharing your past. If you have money, start your business with a solid plan.
Some fields may not require you to disclose your criminal convictions, but it is necessary for law enforcement and education fields. If you want to apply for a job that needs a commercial driving license, you must disclose any information related to DUI cases.
If your convictions are expunged, then there is no need to tell anything to your employers. You are eligible to say no to any criminal history. If you are not sure about your state’s reporting laws, you can consult your probation or parole officer or discuss this matter with an attorney. These professionals can guide you about the reporting law of your country for a job search.
If you try to hide your past convictions, you can increase your difficulties. It will decrease the chance of employment. The potential employers will ultimately find out your criminal history after running a background check. You may get a job by telling a lie, but the employer could terminate you later after learning about your convictions.
Before your interview, you should prepare your explanation. Your probation and parole officer can give you good advice. They may provide you with a list of potential employers in your area who hire ex-offenders. It will increase your comfort and confidence. If you get a job, it will be an excellent way to start your new life. You have to avoid previous mistakes to prove that you are a new person. If you want to consult an attorney before your job interview, consider them:
- “Record Expungement Attorney
- 4695 MacArthur Court
- 11th Floor
- Newport Beach, CA 92660