Knowing What to Disclose
When applying for jobs in California, having a criminal past can hold you back. In today's day and age, whether or not it is fair, hiring managers frequently don't give applicants with criminal histories the time of day. Because of this, many job seekers with criminal histories hesitate to give any information about their conviction to their potential employers. Disclosing your criminal past on job applications and when in interviews is indeed risky. You must be honest to be a good employee, and hiring managers know this. You must also represent yourself as an upstanding citizen and someone who can respect authority. Treading the fine line between the two is something that takes confidence, conviction and a little knowledge about your rights and responsibilities as a job seeker with a criminal background.
You will most likely be asked to disclose any prior criminal convictions when filling out a job application. This is standard hiring procedure for most employers. Those who are dishonest about their past or fail to provide the information required can be denied employment. And, if you lie and they later find out about it, you can be immediately terminated. Thus, you have a responsibility to be upfront about your criminal past.
You should know that in the State of California, most employers (other than governmental agencies) are not allowed to ask about your arrest record. Under California Labor Code 432.7, most employers are not permitted to ask an applicant about an arrest or detention that did not end in a conviction. And you do not have to disclose information about such an arrest, even if asked. Law protects this right. Employers cannot search for an applicant's arrest record, but if information about an arrest happens to come to their attention, that cannot be held against the applicant in the hiring process, and an employee cannot be fired for that alone (in most cases).
Cleaning Your Record
Many people don't know that when you have a conviction dismissed from your record, you can pretend as if the conviction never occurred. The arrest for that conviction then becomes an arrest that did not end in a conviction. So, you do not need to disclose information about a conviction you had dismissed from your record to most potential employers. Most employers will not be able to legally ask you about such a conviction nor hold it against you if they discover it. And, when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully say no.
The information above only pertains to those with California criminal records. This information does not necessarily apply to federal records, records from other states or military records. Therefore, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney if you have questions about how these other criminal records can affect your job search. Likewise, consult with a skilled California criminal defense attorney if you need guidance on how to clean your record. For many people, cleaning their criminal record through the process of expungement can significantly increase their chances of getting a job and can eliminate barriers to employment. But expunging your record can be difficult, especially if you do not thoroughly understand the process. While the court can provide some self-help information, only a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with experience helping people clean their criminal records will be able to provide you step by step guidance and help you submit a successful petition to have a conviction dismissed.
Are you facing criminal charges and worried about the consequences? If so, contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for expert counsel. Experienced in criminal defense, our Visalia area legal team can advise you of your rights and help you fight your charges. We can also help you clean your record so you can apply for jobs with confidence. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Christopher Martens will aggressively defend your rights at trial and help you get the outcome you want. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.