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Employment & Security Clearances

Sept. 23, 2021

Thousands of people who work and live throughout Virginia have a criminal record. Though there are some federal and state-wide legal protections, a criminal record still matters if you want to be employed in Virginia. It doesn't matter if you are applying for some positions, but a criminal record may play a pivotal role in many other positions.

To avoid a criminal record, you need one of three things to happen:

  1. your attorney moves the court to dismiss your case;

  2. your attorney negotiates a plea deal in your favor that defers adjudication in return for successful completion of probation or a specific court-ordered program; or

  3. your attorney wins your case, and you are acquitted at trial.

That's why you want to fight any charge against you, whether it is a DUI or another criminal offense: you want to avoid a criminal record. Reputable criminal defense attorney Bryan J. Jones will fight for you. He understands the depth of harm a criminal record poses to a person's professional life. Call him today with questions. In the meantime, here's an overview of how a criminal record can impact your employment opportunities in Virginia.

How Can a Criminal Record Affect Employment Opportunities in Virginia?

Challenges to employment is a serious collateral consequence of a criminal conviction. There is the general impact of a criminal record on your ability to obtain or keep a good job and there is a specific impact on security clearances.

General Effects of A Criminal Record on Employment Opportunities

There is federal guidance to help employers understand which persons with a criminal record may pose a risk if employed. Employers are supposed to consider factors like:

  • the nature and gravity of the crime,

  • the time between the criminal conviction and the application for employment, and

  • the nature of the job in light of the above two factors.

Though the employer is supposed to consider these things, in today's economic market, chances are there are other applicants who qualify just the same if not more than you.

A criminal record is an easy disqualifier; it's viewed as a liability for the company. Some jobs, however, will simply be off-limits to you depending on the crime you committed. For example, any theft crime or another crime that indicates you are dishonest or have a disposition to distort, cheat, or act fraudulently will bar you from many if not all positions in the finance sector.

Restrictions Subsequent to A Felony Conviction

There are also often work restrictions put in place for some persons with a felony conviction if they are on supervision. Some examples include:

  • You may not be able to serve alcohol, so bartending or another service job may not be available to you.

  • You may not be able to work with minors, so teaching or working at a daycare or other similar facility may be off-limits.

  • You may not be able to work with vulnerable adults, so working as a caregiver or nurse or another similar position may not be open to you.

  • You may not be permitted to access the internet, so any position that could potentially require or allow you to access the internet may not be allowed, even a position like an administrative assistant.

  • You may be restricted from working in certain geographical areas or you may be required to work within a certain geographical area and that automatically limits your employment options.

There are other restrictions placed on you as well. If you are on supervision, be sure to know what types of jobs you can apply for.

Specific Impact of A Criminal Record on Security Clearances

In Virginia, many jobs require you to have security clearance. These include service jobs as well as professional jobs. Without the proper security clearance, you can lose your job or not be hired for the position you seek.

There is one specific criminal area that can specifically put your security clearance at risk of being denied or revoked: crimes involving drugs and alcohol. These crimes include:

Other criminal convictions could impact your ability to gain or keep security clearance but drugs and alcohol are the most common. If you have been convicted of a felony, however, you are barred from positions requiring a top-level security clearance.

Contact an Experienced Dui & Criminal Defense Attorney in Charlottesville, VA

You have options when charged with criminal activity: you can either plead guilty and suffer the consequences of a criminal record, or you can fight the charge and try to prevent a criminal record. The latter is especially important if you will or presently need security clearance – which so many jobs in Virginia require.

At Bryan J. Jones, LLC, we will listen to you, investigate your case, and provide the best defense possible. Contact Bryan J. Jones online or call today to schedule a consultation.