Finding a job is hard enough, even when everything is going your way. If you made top grades in high school, went on to get your degree and have connections with influential people, you may have no problems landing a position that could set you up for the rest of your life. Not many people have those benefits, so even the smallest disadvantage may work against them.
If you are facing criminal charges, you may discover that a conviction on your record can be much more than a small disadvantage. In fact, a criminal conviction may eliminate you from eligibility for many attractive jobs.
A conviction can limit your options
Recent governmental support for removing questions about prior convictions from applications for federal jobs may not be enough to clear the hurdles from job prospects in every industry. Depending on the charges you currently face and any past marks on your record, you may find it nearly impossible to gain acceptance in these areas:
- Law enforcement
- Health care
- Government jobs
- High finance
If you are charged with drug crimes, for example, a conviction will certainly prevent you from finding work in the medical field. People hiring for careers that involve managing or handling other people’s money, such as retail or finance, may reject your application if you have a theft or embezzlement conviction.
Working with children
As appealing as it may be to become a teacher or work in a day care, there are many reasons why a school system or licensing administration may deny you access to these jobs. Like most states, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has on file a long list of offenses which, if a court convicts you, prevent you from obtaining a day care license, working in a day care or even living in a home where someone else provides licensed child care.
Similarly, while you may be able to obtain a degree in education, certain convictions bar you from certification as a teacher. Even if the offense of which you stand accused is not among those on the list of prohibitive convictions, a school system may be reluctant to hire a teacher with a criminal record because of the objections parents may raise.
If you have set goals that include a career in any of the above industries or others not listed, you would do well to avoid a conviction. Criminal convictions have long-lasting, even lifelong consequences. Seeking legal assistance at the earliest moment will be in your best interests.