Can I Work for the Government if I Have a Misdemeanor?

Submitted a criminal background check in Riverside

The answer to the question of whether you can work for the government if you have a misdemeanor conviction is, generally, yes. However, as with questions like this, the more accurate answer is that it depends on your individual facts and circumstances.  If you have a misdemeanor conviction, you may wish to consider expunging the criminal conviction from your record to help you obtain the job you want. At Delimon Law, we help clients in the Riverside, CA area to do just that if their convictions qualify for expungement of the criminal record.

Factors to Consider

As with many things that involve the government, the first question to ask is whether the issue is a federal, state, or local government issue.

For employment with the federal government, it is generally assumed that one will not be hired if they have a criminal record. This is not always true, however, as it is just a myth that is widely believed. The truth is many people with criminal records are eligible to compete for a vast majority of federal jobs. However, there are a few specific jobs that regulations prohibit hiring someone with a specific type of conviction.

For state government employment, the requirements differ from state to state. Often, having a misdemeanor conviction might not affect your chances, as it is a less severe matter than having a felony conviction on your record.

The Fair Chance Act

The Fair Chance Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, is a California law that is intended to reduce undue barriers to employment for people with criminal histories. The law generally prohibits employers with five or more employees from inquiring from a job seeker about their conviction history before making a job offer.

By prohibiting the employer from asking about one’s criminal history in the initial application process, the law permits the employer to make decisions about each applicant’s merits and qualifications without regard for their criminal history.

Consideration of criminal history only becomes relevant when an offer of employment has been made and, in this case, if the person who has been given an offer of employment has a criminal record, then the employer is required to provide individualized reasons why the individual’s criminal record bars them from working in the position for which they have been offered a job at issue.

Unless the misdemeanor conviction has some direct relevance to the job offered, such as applying for a cashier position with a misdemeanor theft conviction, it is not likely that a misdemeanor conviction will stop one from being employed in all other government positions when the conviction has no direct bearing on the offered position.

Discuss Your Options with a Riverside, CA Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have more questions about your criminal record or what can be done to expunge the record, contact our office to schedule a consultation. DeLimon Law is ready to help, whether you need to defend against charges or look into the possibility of expungement.

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