A criminal record can affect your future, your life and your career. Some countries are more notorious than others. But the same thing exists in every one of them – leading a normal life can be hard. Even if you end up with a criminal record because you made a mistake, you may still have problems down the line. This is because your potential employers may inquire about your past and do a background check.
If they do learn about your criminal record, they may inquire about it or reject you. So, the consequences of your past mistakes, may not end after you’ve been charged a fine or served time. We’ll list out ways in which a criminal record may have an impact on your job application and your professional life.
General difficulty in getting a job
Pre-employment screening or background check is common in Australia, the USA and across the world. The main goal behind this pre-employment screening is to see if the applicant is the person they are claiming to be. In this sense, a potential employer will check previous employment history and also check for a criminal record. If they do learn about the existence of a criminal record, they can reject the applicant if the conviction is relevant for the job. This may lead to a general difficulty in getting a job. Even if you’re applying to so-called sensitive roles which require a person not to have a criminal record. Even though employers shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of a criminal record. Nor will most of them disclose this, you might still get rejected, but the reason disclosed will be something else.
An employer might worry that you’ll repeat the offence
One of the reasons employers might be reluctant to hire a person with a criminal record is their limiting beliefs. People often believe that if a person made a mistake once, they are most likely to repeat the mistake once again. This is a common belief for those who have drug-related charges on record. An employer might be reluctant to give this person a job because they aren’t sure if the person still uses drugs so they might not want to risk it. If this is the case, the person should just try their luck until they find an employer who is willing to give them a chance.
It may affect your ability to drive for the job
Certain behaviour may cause the loss or suspension of a driving licence. Driving under the influence or DUI may be the reason why a person lost their driver’s licence. Driving while intoxicated or DWI may also be the cause for suspension. Either way, drunk driving offences can temporarily or permanently affect a person’s ability to drive for the job. Let’s say that a person is a professional driver and they’ve made their entire life working in the transportation industry and now they cannot drive. This can affect their quality of life because they might have to look for another job.
Difficulty changing the career path
Some criminal offences might force a person to rethink their current career path. The reason why people opt to do that is to increase their chances of getting quality employment. However, there might be some difficulties along the path if you choose a career that requires getting certification and licences. If this criminal offence limits a person from getting certified, they won’t be able to get a job in that career.
So, if you’ve been charged with a criminal offence that can limit your chances of getting a licence, you should hire criminal lawyers in Sydney or anywhere near you to help you avoid a criminal conviction. If you’ve always wanted to work in real estate, insurance, a pharmacy, or as a social worker, having a criminal record might ruin your dream of working in these professions. But, there are also exceptions to this, depending on the country and how big the offence is.
If it’s just a minor offence, it might not be detrimental to getting a job in one of these sensitive careers. But, the most important thing is that you’ll probably have to change career paths if you have a criminal record. If this is the case, choose your future profession wisely and make sure there aren’t any limitations in form of a licence or a certification keeping you away from doing your job.
Some of your rights might be limited
While limitations to one’s rights are specific for each country, we have lost this one as well. Having a criminal record won’t just bar you from getting certified and licenced to perform a specific job. But it can also put a limit on some of your rights.
If you have a record, you might not have the same right as the average person without a record. Some limitations can be placed on the right to vote, own a firearm, get invited to work as a jury member or work in a state office. However, these limitations are different for each country and legal system.
A criminal record disqualifies you immediately from certain jobs
In Australia for example, there are certain jobs you won’t be permitted to do if you have a criminal record. Even if you are super qualified for the job, your criminal record will immediately disqualify you from the further hiring process. This applies for applying to any government job or working in the police. Even in childcare or in social work working with vulnerable groups.
While having a good reputation can give you many professional opportunities, the opposite can happen if your reputation is damaged. This is exactly what happens when people learn that you have a criminal record. It doesn’t matter how minor it is, if it’s officially filed in your record. It has the potential of ruining your reputation. While a reputation is something that can be viewed as a vanity metric. The public eye can still nurture your bad reputation by retelling stories of your past or your misdemeanours.
Even if you continue with socially acceptable work and give back to the community to repair your reputation. Some people may still view and treat you differently. If your reputation is damaged because of your offence. It might take you a while to repair it and start to be trusted again. This may affect the quality of your work or the scope of work you might be getting. Until your reputation is repaired, you might be forced to do some beginner jobs even though you are more experienced than that.
Career advancement might be hindered or impossible
Your criminal record might be the reason why your career has hit a plateau. Let’s say it’s something that happened while you were coming up the career ladder at your current company. Your current employer might not view you differently because of it. However, if you plan on advancing at your current company, those in charge of selection might reject you because of your criminal record. This may be because the position is in the public eye. So having an employee with a criminal record might be damaging to the brand image.
We may conclude from all we’ve covered in this post that having a criminal record. Regardless of how minor the offence, can have an effect on your entire life. In an ideal world, we could go back in time and alter our choices to even prevent being in circumstances where committing a crime may be the result. Since it isn’t possible, we should all take care to consider our decisions in order to stay out of legal trouble.