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Can a criminal conviction impact my future employment?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When a person is arrested for any reason in Illinois, it is natural for them to think about the potential consequences they might face if they are convicted. Depending on the charges, that can include incarceration, fines and other penalties. What they might not consider is the negative impact a criminal record might have as they try to achieve various objectives in life.

Even though people who have been convicted of a crime might have served their debt to society, completed the requirements based on the trial or a plea bargain and want to move forward, there are still obstacles that can hinder them. One area where a conviction can be problematic is when they are seeking employment.

Those with convictions can face employment ramifications

People with a criminal conviction in their past are protected by the Illinois Human Rights Act. Still, employers are not obligated to ignore a person’s criminal past. If the conviction is connected to the job itself, then it could be a disqualifier.

The criminal record can be for any type of crime – a misdemeanor or felony – and can show up whether they have been placed on probation, received a fine, were incarcerated or paroled.

Employers cannot bar all people with a conviction from being employed. Still, if they see the conviction is somehow related to the type of job the person is applying for, then they can choose not to hire that person.

Even if the person with the past conviction was hired and started work, the employer can still discharge them in certain cases. An unsafe workplace is one reason and the previously mentioned connection between the conviction and the job is another.

Avoiding a conviction is the preferred option

People who are facing criminal charges need to think about how to lodge a strong defense not just to avoid a conviction and the penalties, but so it does not damage their future and the goals they have set for themselves. This is true for employment, seeking housing and trying to receive professional licenses among many other endeavors.

There might be a perception that everyone who is seeking a job will be on a level playing field, but that is not always the case particularly if there is a criminal conviction in their past. Of course, the level of crime will affect how it can harm a person when they are trying to get a job, but it is vital for everyone who is arrested to know the value of a strong defense.

Many times, the person charged is just starting out in their adult life and their future can be upended by one mistake. To be fully protected, it is wise to have aggressive help from a professional who can see the situation from the perspective of the prosecutor from experience in serving that role. Having assistance immediately with a criminal defense is crucial to reach a positive result and avoid the negative consequences in the short and long term.