Can I Get Hired with a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor record can make finding a job more difficult because they can show up on your background check. However, employers may choose to overlook a misdemeanor. During your interview, be honest about your past and explain how it has made you a better person. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you. Having a misdemeanor is not the end of the world or your career.
Knowing how to address misdemeanor charges during the application process can be hard, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. We’ve created a list of common questions to help you determine the next step in your job search.
Do misdemeanors show up on a background check?
Yes. Misdemeanors are a lesser crime than a felony. However, misdemeanors remain on your record permanently, meaning a misdemeanor can show up if your employer does a background check on you.
Are misdemeanors bad?
Generally, misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, but they are still serious offenses that can carry jail time. Although we all make mistakes, misdemeanors will stay with you permanently.
Some employers may have policies against hiring people convicted of certain crimes, including misdemeanors. Likewise, some employers may not hire employees with specific types of misdemeanors that the employer feels may impact the ability to perform the job duties. For instance, a house cleaning service may not want to hire someone with a theft or trespassing misdemeanor.
Can you get a misdemeanor off your record?
Misdemeanors can be sealed or removed from your record through an expungement. This legal process can vary from state to state, and may only cover specific categories of crimes. Requirements are set by the state and you will need to hire a lawyer to start the expungement process.
What kind of jobs accept misdemeanors?
There are several fields which tend to be less restrictive in background requirements. Of course, these requirements will vary from employer to employer, but in general, the following fields are more accepting of less than perfect backgrounds: skilled trades, automotive technology, renewable energy, culinary arts, office administration, art and design, computer technology and digital/interactive media.
Which misdemeanors prevent employment?
Getting a misdemeanor is not the end of the world. While your misdemeanor may prevent you from working at some companies, there are still many companies that will hire people with a wide variety of convictions. Ultimately, each employer has different hiring requirements for their company or specific positions.
That said, while misdemeanor convictions are not as serious as felony convictions, misdemeanors can still be reviewed for hiring decisions and may impact your ability to be hired.
In general, violent, theft and drug-related crimes can raise the most concern for employers. The nature of the conviction will be considered with the type of job you will be doing in this process. For example, a crime against a child can prevent you from being hired at a school or daycare, but may not prevent you from working in a factory.
Remember, you may have fewer options, but there are still many companies who will hire you.
Should I discuss my misdemeanor when applying for a job?
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, use good judgment about disclosing it to a possible employer. Most states do not require you disclose your misdemeanor convictions, although fields such as law enforcement, caregiving and education require all crimes be disclosed. But remember, your employer can see your convictions if they do a complete background check.
Are misdemeanors considered convictions?
Yes. If you have been to court and either plead guilty or were found guilty of a misdemeanor, you have been convicted. If your guilt has not been established and the case is currently being prosecuted, you have only been charged and have not been convicted yet. Employers can view your convictions in a background check.
Do you have to disclose a misdemeanor on a job application?
Usually, when background information is requested on an application, it clearly requests only felony conviction information. Also, many applications only request information from the past seven to 10 years. Some states restrict certain background information from employers. An expunged or sealed misdemeanor conviction does not have to be put on your application. And remember, many employers do not disqualify a candidate based on misdemeanors.
Do I have to disclose a misdemeanor after seven years?
Most companies will conduct a background check during your hiring process. Federal and state laws determine how far back your records can be reviewed. Federal law does not limit how far back an employer can review your criminal record. However, some states do have limits, but they vary from state-to-state. When you are applying for a job it may ask you “Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor/felony in the last 7 years?” If your misdemeanor happened over 7 years ago then you are free and clear to say “no.” On the other hand, if the question has a more open timeframe such as “Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor/felony?” then you would need to answer “yes.” Normally you will be given some additional space to explain the charge and when it occurred. It is always best to be honest on your application because if you falsify your answer and it comes back on your background check, then you likely won’t be considered for the job.
Do dismissed cases show up on a criminal background check?
If you were not convicted, you generally do not need to disclose the charge. However, if the dismissed case appears on a background check, explain the circumstancesand why the case was dismissed. This is also a good opportunity to discuss what you learned from the situation and why you are not a risky hire.
Do I need a letter explaining a misdemeanor?
Some states limit background check inquiries, but not all. Some states allow for requests of explanation of the crime. Usually, letters explaining a misdemeanor are requested for licenses to be issued, such as real estate, nursing and such. If you have to write a letter explaining your crime, be truthful but don’t provide too much information. Just state the facts for clarity. Be honest, take accountability, do not blame your problems on others or circumstances and explain what you have learned.
Do arrests show up on a background check?
When employers conduct a background check, arrests may show up in the record. In some states, these records can be used in hiring decisions for up to seven years under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) laws. However, some states limit the use of arrest records in hiring decisions. It is best to be honest about your record and address the issue head-on during the interview.
Do pending charges show up on a background check?
Most background check services will provide pending charge information. However, while the FCRA laws allow this information to be considered when hiring, some states limit employers to only using convictions for these decisions. The EEOC also recommends employers consider the nature of the offense, how long ago it occurred, and the nature of the job they are applying for. If the crime was severe, recent or relevant to the type of job you are applying for, the employer may use this information in their decision.
What states have a seven-year limit on background checks?
As of 2018, there are 12 states in the US which limit background checks to a seven-year review. These states are: California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Washington, Colorado and Texas. States which limit reporting of pending charges to the past seven years are: Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.
How can I find a good job when I have a misdemeanor criminal record?
Be prepared to talk about your past honestly, but be sure to focus on what you have learned in the process and the changes you have made. However, don’t make your past the focus of the interview. Be sure to focus on your skills and talents.
You have value as a potential employee and taking ownership of your actions shows responsibility. Be sure to show off your positive personality and good work ethic as well.
Dress tastefully for the interview, display professionalism and use good manners. Have a resume that clearly presents your skills and your past work history. Having reliable former bosses as references can help you demonstrate how dependable, trustworthy and reliable you can be. Never forget you have many gifts and can provide a lot of value in the world with hard work and perseverance.
Where do I go for employment with a misdemeanor charge?
Although a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, it may still limit your job prospects depending on the nature of the conviction. However, there are many career options which do not require background checks or have fewer background qualifications, which may be a good fit for you. If you’re seeking a career, start by applying for jobs or getting training in technology, food service, automotive repair or design. Requirements may vary by position, however, these industries tend to be more open to applicants due to high demand. Working with a staffing agency will give you access to multiple jobs in several industries. The agency will review your background and offer you placements which meet your skills and qualifications, saving you time and frustration in applying for multiple jobs individually and waiting on responses.
Can I get fired from my current job if I am convicted of a misdemeanor?
An employer’s ability to fire you for convictions while you are working for their company varies from state to state. If you work as an “at-will” employee, you can be fired without notice and a reason does not have to be supplied. However, some states have laws which require cause be shown if you are fired.
If your conviction is the cause, it is the employer’s responsibility to show how your conviction would negatively impact the employer. For example, if you work for a daycare and are convicted of child abuse, this could be cause for you to lose your job, even if the crime was not committed at the daycare. You are not required to disclose pending charges to an employer, however, missing work regularly for appointments with lawyers and court dates may cause your employer to become suspicious. It is always best to be honest and work with your employer as you go through the legal process. Your employer recognizes that you are innocent until proven guilty, and will appreciate your openness.
Will I lose my job if I have to be absent to go to court trials for my misdemeanor?
Each employer sets its own attendance policy. Some employers choose to excuse absences for the court in any capacity. However, employers are only legally required to excuse absences for court when you have been summoned by the court as a witness or for jury duty. If you are to stand trial or are being prosecuted, your absence is not required by law to be excused. It is best to discuss your scheduled absences with your employer to prevent losing your job for attendance issues.
How many years back does an employment background check go?
In most cases, a full background check will review the past seven years. However, some employers may require a review of up to 10 years in the past, based on the salary of the position offered. Some state laws may be more restrictive on the length of allowable time reviewed. One thing to note is that you can request your background check from your potential employer if you wish to see what comes up on the check. This will let you know exactly what employers are seeing and if there are any errors. These errors can be on your specific record or it may be that someone with a similar name has a wrap sheet but the potential employer thinks it’s you. Don’t be afraid to ask for the report.
You are not defined by your past. With hard work and perseverance, you can succeed. Searching for a job is always stressful, and having a misdemeanor conviction can make the process a little harder. Don’t give up. There’s a job out there for you.
Onin Staffing is ready to help you find a career opportunity that fits you best. If you have additional questions regarding this topic, respond below or visit your nearest Ōnin Staffing office.