You may be looking to start over, maybe start a new job. However, you’re concerned that your criminal record may hinder your chances of finding one. Depending on the job, this may be the case, however, there are some laws that will help to mitigate the misdemeanor on your criminal record. This article navigates the obstacles as well as the laws in place with regard to having a misdemeanor conviction when seeking employment.

What types of crimes are considered to be misdemeanors?

That traffic ticket you got three years ago and have since paid most likely wasn’t considered to be a misdemeanor. A traffic ticket is typically considered to be an infraction.

Crimes that are considered to be misdemeanors include but are not limited to, shoplifting, domestic violence, reckless driving, DUI, and prostitution. The penalty for a misdemeanor typically includes a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or jail time in a county jail.

In California, which sources are included when running a background check?

Public records as well as private records such as court, DMV, and employment verification records are reviewed as part of the background check. If you work in a managerial position or law enforcement, or one in which the employee handles a certain amount of money, an employer can run a credit check and a civil court check on the potential employee to assist them in making a decision.

What is the Ban the Box law?

In 2018, California Assembly Bill No. 1008 – The Fair Chance Act went into effect. The bill, colloquially known as Ban the Box, refers to the box on employment history questionnaires provided by a potential employer that asks if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. Ban the Box does not permit such questions to be included in the application. Instead, the employer can only inquire about the applicant’s criminal history or run a background check once the employer has made an offer to the applicant. The purpose of this law is to allow those with criminal histories to have a “better shot” at getting a job.

There are a few exceptions to this law. Law enforcement and those in the criminal justice system are excluded as well as a company with fewer than five employees. In addition, if there is a law requiring that an employer run a background check because the job is in finance or another sector that the government requires a background check for, the applicant must submit to a background check in order to be considered for the role.

Can you get a job with a misdemeanor on your record?

Yes, you can get a job, however, depending on the type of job, having a misdemeanor conviction may make this more challenging. Businesses are wary of those who exhibit risky behavior as such behavior could lead to potential liability issues.

In addition, there are some misdemeanors where the sentence inhibits an individual from applying for certain jobs. For example, in the article, “How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record In California [2024]”, we mentioned that California imposes a very strict penalty for those who get a DUI. One of the penalties is not being allowed to drive. This can prevent a person from applying to jobs that require driving.

In 2023, California Assembly Bill No., which is also known as the Clean Slate Law 1076 went into effect. This law requires that a person’s misdemeanor record is sealed so long as the sentence has been completed and that the individual has not committed other crimes in that timeframe. This means that, once their record is sealed, the misdemeanor will not appear on a person’s background check when they apply for a job.

The article, “Expungement in California – How to Clear Criminal Records”, explored the process of how to expunge a person’s record. The Clean Slate Law does not require the individual to file a petition to have their record sealed. Instead, the law requires that the courts do it automatically.

Can you pass a background check with a misdemeanor?

The background check will show that you have a misdemeanor. Should you be offered a job and you have a misdemeanor on your record, it is advisable to take the following action. Prior to the company running the background check, you should let the company know about your prior records and the actions you have taken since then to rectify the situation.

Practicing what you plan to say will make talking about it with your future employer easier.

Have a misdemeanor on record?

Our misdemeanor lawyer at the Law Office of David L. Faulkner will be able to offer helpful representation to assist you in protecting your rights per the law and reduce the impact of your criminal charges. Call us at (661) 324-4777 to schedule a free and helpful consultation, or email us at [email protected] to obtain full information regarding our services.

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