Getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record may seem impossible. After all, it can be hard enough to land a good job with a perfect CV and a pristine record. But it’s not impossible. 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.
What circumstances can affect getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record?
When it comes to getting a job with a misdemeanor on your record, not all misdemeanors are created equal. How a potential employer reacts to discovering that you have a misdemeanor depends on the person, the company they work for, the type of job you’re applying for, and much more, including:
- How many misdemeanors do you have? If it’s just one, people are more likely to look over the infraction. The more misdemeanors you have to your name, however, the more likely they are to think that you’re not trying to avoid criminal actions.
- What kind of misdemeanor(s) do you have? Were you charged with disorderly conduct or petty theft? Were you charged with DWI or drug possession? Society views these different infractions with varying levels of disdain and understanding.
- How long ago was your misdemeanor? Did you get a misdemeanor as a teen, but now you’re in your mid-40s? Or are you still on probation or doing community service? The more time between now and your misdemeanor(s), the more likely a potential employer is to chalk up the charge to the foibles of youth.
What jobs can I get with a misdemeanor?
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 hired.
Key #1: Apply for the right job
We are the following questions frequently “Are there misdemeanors that prevent employment entirely?” “What jobs can I get with a misdemeanor?” “Can you get a job with a drug misdemeanor?” “How hard is it to get a job with a possession charge?”
The best answer for all of these 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 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 rethink that plan.
To be blunt, once you get a misdemeanor, you will have a much, much harder time getting a job in education, healthcare, government work, childcare, finance, or law enforcement.
However, there are plenty of jobs that hire employees with drug charges on their records. Continue to build your skills and your reputation; a growing number of organizations make a point of giving employees with a drug record or another type of misdemeanor a second chance. And the better people are able to vouch for you as a solid, reliable employee, the more likely it is that your misdemeanor won’t hold you back.
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 a waiver, allowing 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.
But do misdemeanor drug charges show up on background checks?
Yes, they can. Thus, 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 and 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.
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 up the fact that you have a misdemeanor.
Key #3: Know your options and your rights
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for expungement in Texas, which totally erases a charge from your record, or to have your record sealed, which allows only certain governmental agencies to view your record. These procedures can mean all the difference when you’re tired of trying to get a job with a misdemeanor on your record.
“What if I already got my record expunged?” we are often asked. That’s good! 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: Working on getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge on your record? You’re not alone.
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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