Criminal convictions have many consequences, such as fines, probation, or jail time. A conviction may continue to have an effect on your life long after you have completed your sentence, however. Convictions may keep you from possessing a weapon, voting, holding certain professional licenses, and more. Convictions also can have a negative effect on your ability to get hired for new jobs. This is because some employers cast judgment on applicants with criminal convictions, even if the conviction has no bearing on their ability to do a job correctly. For example, while it is understandable that a bank manager would not hire someone who had been convicted of embezzlement, there is no reason a bank manager should refuse to hire a person with a DUI conviction.
Unfortunately, many employers look to weed out past inmates from the very start of the hiring process. They do this by including a question on the initial application regarding any past misdemeanor or felony convictions. In many instances, this question would eliminate the applicant from consideration before they ever made it to an interview. This made it very difficult for people with criminal records to get a job.
New Jobs Act in Illinois
A new law called the Best Candidate for the Job Act was proposed in Illinois House Bill 5701. The Bill passed through the legislature and Governor Quinn is expected to sign the Bill into law. The Act states that all employers that have at least 15 employees are prohibited from asking about prior criminal convictions on job applications.
Though this keeps employers from ruling out prior convicts in the initial stage based on their applications alone, employers may still inquire about criminal convictions or conduct a background check after an interview or conditional employment is offered. However, even if a potential employer finds out about a past conviction, the applicant will be able to explain the circumstances in an interview and will have a chance to explain why they are qualified for the position. This makes it more likely that the past offender will get the job. Additionally, if an employer finds out about a conviction, they are required to consider the severity and nature of the crime, as well as the time that has passed since the conviction occurred.
The best way to ensure that your job opportunities will not be hindered by criminal convictions is to avoid having any convictions on your record. The easiest way to avoid convictions is to not break the law. However, if you do find yourself facing criminal charges, your case does not have to end in conviction. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to build an aggressive defense and negotiate with prosecutors to get you the best outcome possible in your case.
Attorney Steven Goldman knows how important it is for you to keep a clean record, and will fight for your rights in the criminal justice system. If you have been arrested or charged, call Goldman & Associates for help today.