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Drug Crimes

Getting a Job with a Misdemeanor Drug Charge on your Record

Mark Thiessen

Today, it’s hard enough to land a good job with a perfect CV and a pristine record. For that reason, getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record may seem impossible.

But it’s not. In reality, you still stand a fair chance of finding employment even when you’ve been convicted of misdemeanor drug charges in Texas.

So long as you are prepared and have the help of a good lawyer, getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record can go fairly smoothly.

Do you know the answers to questions like, “Will a misdemeanor affect a background check?” and “Do misdemeanor charges go away?” Even if you do, chances are you should find the below guide to getting a job with a misdemeanor on your record helpful.

To what extent does a misdemeanor affect employment prospects, applications, and interviews?

How hard it is to get a job with a possession charge or any other misdemeanor charge can sometimes depend on the will of the job applicant. If you have the required skills and are a good candidate otherwise, it’s still entirely possible to find that employers and jobs accept misdemeanors, and view you as more than your criminal record.

At the same time, this world isn’t a utopia, and getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record does present several hurdles you need to jump. Here are some of the keys to getting a hired.

Key #1: Apply for the right job

Consider the question, “Are there misdemeanors that prevent employment entirely?” We hear this question a lot, and the best answer is often, “It depends on the job.” For example, if you were convicted of petty theft, it’s unlikely that you’ll find employment as someone who installs cable or the internet in family residences. Or if your misdemeanor was a DWI and you have wanted to be a truck driver your whole life, chances are that you’re going to need to find a new dream job.

What about the military? Can you join the military with a misdemeanor drug charge? Surprisingly, the answer is sometimes yes. You will likely need to apply for a waiver, but more often than not, a career in the military is still open to you. There are even a few (albeit rare) circumstances that, with waiver, allow you to join the military even if you’ve been convicted of a felony.

Key #2: Understand how criminal background checks affect your chances of getting a job with a misdemeanor on your record

Contrary to intuition, if your potential employers run a background check on you, it is a good sign. Since background checks cost money, if they tell you they’re running a background check (which they’re legally required to do), that means that they are considering you as a candidate.

That said, knowing that your potential employer is going to run a background check on you also means knowing that they’re going to discover your misdemeanor drug charge. Right now is where the panic begins to set in, and we get clients calling and asking, “Will I get a chance to explain what happened? To explain how I’ve changed?”

In fact, it’s smart to use the fact that your potential employer is about to find out about your misdemeanor drug charge to your advantage. Often, just by being honest and upfront about your misdemeanor drug charge before a background check is run helps establish trust between you and your employer.

Key #3: Know your options and your rights

If your potential employer doesn’t run a background check and doesn’t ask you about your criminal history, you’re not obligated to bring it up.

“What if I got my record expunged?” we are often asked, “do I have to bring up the charge, then?” No. However, it is smart to check with the county records where your charge and/or conviction was filed. Sometimes manual errors occur when a clerk enters data, and if you’ve gotten your record expunged or your charges lowered, it’s wise to double check that those details have been updated.

Finally, it is illegal to use criminal background checks as a tool to discriminate against prospective employees. If you suspect that you had a criminal background check run on you solely because of your race, gender, etc., then consider calling your lawyer.

Key #4: Use the aggressive, experienced attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm to your advantage

Having an aggressive, experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference when you’re working on getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record. Doing so means that you have an advocate in the courtroom long before you’re even convicted of a misdemeanor drug charge. They can answer and act on questions such as “Can a DWI be expunged in Texas?” and “What should I do if I’m facing drug charges and child custody battles?”

The last thing you need after dealing with misdemeanor drug charges is to face yet another hurdle. If you’re ready to get back into the job market and get on with your life, call our team at the Thiessen Law Firm at 713-864-9000 and request a free case evaluation.

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