Over the course of my 16 year career, I have represented a large number of college students. Special care is needed in these cases because even a minor misdemeanor conviction could have disastrous long term consequences. Often future employers will automatically disqualify a candidate for any conviction no matter how trivial or benign. I take special care in these matters by being proactive and understanding the future career paths of my clients. A favorable solution can be found if an attorney is hired early in the legal process. Plea agreements must be worded properly so that a resulting permanent conviction will not hurt the student’s future career plans. I strongly urge students to hire an experienced attorney early in the process. Please seek professional assistance. Do not jeopardize years of hard work by failing to exercise all of your options.
Having a criminal record affects future employment in the following ways.
Convictions: This is a very crucial factor that many employers check. A charge that was dismissed is very different from a permanent criminal conviction. No contest pleas are treated the same a conviction. It is important to note that once a charge is filed in a particular city in Tennessee, it may still appear in a background check even if the charge was later dismissed or dropped. If you were arrested, you were likely fingerprinted and an arrest report was created. If your record is not expunged or sealed from public view, your arrest will most likely show up on a background check. Expungement issues are very technical and need to be filed by an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney.
Nature of the crime: Employers are reluctant to hire an employee who may not be able to get eventual credentials or state licenses. They will be looking at whether any convictions involving crimes that raise questions about the employees fitness to maintain employment. The types of crimes that usually concern employers are those that involve dishonest such as theft, shoplifting, or fraud. Drug offenses, violent crimes, and sexual offenses also cause great concerns for employers. Yes, even simple possession gives employers concerns. Employers often keep in mind how the public may view these offenses. Therefore, they are most reluctant to hire an employee who has a criminal past.
What to do if you have a criminal record?
Mitigating factors: Sometimes employers may view the context of the circumstances leading to the conviction and any steps taken by the prospective employee to take steps toward rehabilitation. They favor applicants who have reflected on the incident and attempt to show steps to address the problem(s). It is important to describe extenuating circumstances at the time and whether it was an isolated event. Good ways to address rehabilitation is to document any treatment at a drug and/or alcohol rehab facility. This could help provide a "silver lining" to an unfortunate situation.
What is the best advice?
Please seek professional advice from the beginning so that you could avoid a future nightmare. If you are a college student and need help with a recent Tennessee arrest, give Nashville, Tennessee attorney Lee Martin a call at 615-345-1988.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in criminal defense cases. If you are seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending criminal charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.