How a Criminal Charges Can Place Your Livelihood at Risk – And What You Can Do About It

Posted on in Criminal Law

Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneysMany employers now conduct background checks as a condition of employment. In fact, one survey suggested that as many as 92 percent of all employers perform at least some form of a criminal records check before hiring for some or all of their positions. In today’s tight job market such checks can make it extremely difficult for anyone with a criminal record to find gainful employment, and even those that already have a job may be at risk for losing their livelihood. Understand how a criminal conviction can put your job and/or employability at risk, and what you can do to avoid such consequences.

General Employment

Whether it is stocking shelves at a local supermarket or running a register at a local retail store, your criminal record matters when applying for a job. Of course, employers cannot obtain your criminal report without your consent, and they must notify you if they intend to disqualify you because of your record, but this does not help you if a criminal background check is a condition of employment. You do have other protections, however. Illinois state law strictly prohibits employers from asking about expunged or sealed records, and they cannot base an employment decision on arrests that did not lead to conviction.

Licensed Employment

More and more professions are requiring licensing to practice – everything from nail technicians to nurses and physicians. Some licensing boards (particularly those that oversee the healthcare industry) have consequences for certain criminal actions. Each board has their own rules, and their own disciplinary actions, but if you are arrested and then convicted of a crime, you can expect to hear from them, if for no other reason than to be investigated over the nature of your alleged crime. Should they find reason to discipline you, your license to practice could be suspended or revoked and your livelihood could be at risk.

Protecting Yourself from the Employment Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

The first step to protecting yourself from the possible employment consequences of a criminal conviction is to know your rights. You do not have to plead guilty, no matter how strong the evidence against you may seem. You also have the right to legal counsel. Seek an aggressive criminal defense attorney who is willing to look beyond the purported evidence and find the truth and/or discrepancies in your case. Or, if you have already been convicted, seek assistance from an attorney who is familiar with the process of record sealing and expungement.

At the Law Offices of Scott F. Anderson, we have more than 25 years of experience in helping those facing criminal charges. Skilled in defending your rights in a wide range of situations, we fight to mitigate the charges against you. In some circumstances, we may even be able to have your charges dropped completely. We are also experienced in handling record sealing and expungement. Whatever your needs, contact our Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorneys today. Call 847-253-3400.