Can a criminal charge in Rhode Island hurt your future job prospects?
Too often, people only recognize the obvious consequences of a criminal conviction. Penalties like fines, restitution, community service, loss of driving privileges and jail time are common consequences based on numerous factors. Unfortunately, individuals might face additional penalties in the future. Individuals with a criminal record might face challenges centering on housing opportunities, job opportunities and chances for higher education.
During a job search, individuals are already concerned about how their educational background and employment history stacks up against similar candidates. In several highly competitive markets, the smallest of differences can separate potential hires from rejections. Those with a criminal record will face yet another layer of worry. If the past crime is in any way related to the sought-after position, it might mean an immediate disqualification. For example, if your criminal record contains arrests or convictions of financial crimes, it might preclude you from new positions in the financial sector.
What to do before an interview?
Depending on certain circumstances, individuals could seek an expungement of records A successful expungement generally means that you can legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime. The conviction, however, must be disclosed when applying for different types of occupations including those involving teaching, early childhood education, law enforcement, coaching or the practice of law.
There is some relief as Rhode Island is legally a “ban the box” state. In the past, a job application could contain “a box” that was a section asking an applicant about his or her criminal record. In many instances, this box became an immediate disqualifier for numerous jobs. In recent years, Rhode Island and many other states have banned this type of question from an initial application. An employer, however, can still ask about arrests and convictions during the interview itself – giving the applicant a chance to explain himself or herself without simply checking a “yes” or “no” box.
Your first course of action is to seek a strong defender who will fight to shield you from the serious consequences you face. They will also evaluate your circumstances to determine your best legal options to take going forward. We have provided our clients with an in-depth outline of the laws regarding expungements of your criminal record and who is eligible.