Did you know that the number of Americans with criminal records today is larger than the whole US population in 1900?
Expunging your criminal record can be a step towards a fresh start and a better future.
If you’re in New Jersey and have had your record cleared, you may be wondering what that means for finding a job.
In this article, we’ll go over what expungement means, what it doesn’t, and what to keep in mind when looking for work. Read on to learn more.
What Expungement Is
Expungement is a legal process where a person’s criminal record is sealed or erased, so it’s no longer available to the public.
In New Jersey, you may be eligible for expungement if you’ve been convicted of certain crimes and meet certain criteria. This means you can file a petition in the court where the conviction happened and have a hearing. If the court agrees, your record will be expunged and not open to the public.
Expungement is a way for people to put their criminal past behind them and move on with their lives. It’s a powerful tool for those who have been convicted of a crime and want to start over.
However, it’s important to understand what expungement does and does not do, so you can make informed decisions about your future.
What Expungement Isn’t
Expungement is not a full clearance of your criminal history. Even if your record is no longer open to the public, some entities can still see it.
These include law enforcement and the courts, and some jobs that need security clearances. Before applying for work, it’s important to know if your expunged record will still be visible.
Additionally, expungement does not automatically remove all the consequences of a criminal conviction. For example, if you were convicted of a crime that carries a mandatory penalty, such as loss of driving privileges, those penalties may still apply, even if your record is expunged.
A criminal defense attorney can help show you how to expunge your record in New Jersey. Find out morehere.
Jobs Without Strings
For most jobs, your expunged record won’t appear on background checks. When you fill out job applications, you may be asked if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.
If your record has been expunged, you can legally answer “no.” However, it’s always a good idea to tell your potential employer about your criminal history, even if it’s been expunged. Some employers may be able to find this information through other sources.
In many cases, the decision of whether to disclose your criminal history will come down to a personal choice. If you’re comfortable with your expunged record, you can choose to not mention it.
However, if you’re unsure or feel uncomfortable, it may be a good idea to be upfront about your criminal history and explain the expungement process.
Jobs with Higher Standards
If you’re looking for a job with higher standards, such as education or a professional license, it’s important to know if a criminal record will affect your eligibility.
Some jobs and licenses may be off-limits if you have a conviction, even if your record has been expunged. Before applying, research the specific requirements to make sure you’re eligible.
For example, if you’re looking to become a teacher, your criminal history, including any expunged records, will be taken into account when you apply for a license. If you have a conviction for a crime that involves harm to others, you may not be eligible for a license.
However, if your expunged record is for a minor offense, you may still be able to obtain a license.
Some crimes, such as those involving drugs or violence, may prevent you from getting certain jobs. However, if your record has been expunged, it may not impact your eligibility. Again, it’s important to research the specific requirements before applying for these types of jobs.
Jobs with Security Clearances
Jobs that require security clearances are a different story. If you’re looking for work that involves access to sensitive information or materials, your expunged record may still be seen. This is because security clearances involve a thorough investigation into a person’s background, including their criminal history.
If you have an expunged record, it’s important to be upfront about it when applying for a job with a security clearance. In most cases, your expunged record won’t automatically prevent you from getting clearance, but it’s still important to be transparent.
The process of getting a security clearance can be lengthy and involved, so be prepared to provide a lot of information about your background. You may also be asked to explain why your record was expunged and what you’ve done since then to show you’re a responsible and trustworthy person.
Understanding Your Expunged Record
Expunging your criminal record can be a step towards a better future, but it’s important to understand what it does and does not do. For most jobs, your expunged record won’t appear on background checks, but you may still be asked about it.
For jobs with higher standards, such as education or professional licenses, your eligibility may be affected by your criminal history, even if it’s been expunged. Finally, for jobs with security clearances, your expunged record may still be seen, so it’s important to be upfront about it.
Here at Wicik Law, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Gina M. Wicik and the team are on hand to provide the legal help you need. Contact us today.