Getting a criminal or DWI conviction can result in a number of serious consequences. First, there are the immediate consequences, such as fines, jail or prison time, probation, the loss of your driver’s license for certain crimes, etc. But then there are longer-term consequences. You may lose the right to own firearms. You may be required to register as a sex offender on the Megan’s Law registry. Even worse, your conviction may affect your ability to qualify for certain government benefits, housing, and, most significantly of all, your ability to find work. Here, our experienced Ocean County, NJ criminal defense lawyers explain how a criminal conviction can affect your job status in New Jersey.
You should ask a knowledgeable attorney whether being convicted of the charges you face may result in the loss of your job, difficulty obtaining employment, losing your driver’s license, or even being unable to work in your desired field. Our criminal lawyers have been representing clients arrested and charged in Ocean County areas, including in Toms River, Brick, Manchester, Jackson, Lacey Township, Barnegat, and Eagleswood, for years. We can answer all of your questions so don’t delay in contacting our local office in Point Pleasant. Call (848) 238-2100 now for a free consultation and learn more.
Effects of Criminal Convictions on Employment in New Jersey
Losing Your License
Many crimes and traffic offenses, most commonly drug offenses and DWI charges, can result in the loss of your New Jersey driver’s license for a period of months or even years. If you are unable to feasibly or conveniently reach your job via public transit, which many people in New Jersey cannot, this can force you to choose between driving without a license, which can result in even more serious convictions and penalties, and making it in on time to work. Many people end up losing their jobs if they are unable to drive to satisfy their childcare demands or employment demands.
Employment Background Checks
Criminal convictions can appear on your permanent criminal record. Employers often run background checks that can reveal this information. If you have a criminal history, employers may be less likely to hire you, especially if your crime of conviction involved dishonesty, false statements, theft or fraud, and the like.
Unfortunately, any criminal conviction—and even some arrests for serious crimes—can jeopardize your prospects of gaining or keeping employment. This is true of disorderly persons offenses (New Jersey’s rough equivalent of a misdemeanor), indictable offenses (New Jersey’s equivalent of a felony), and even some traffic offenses like DUI.
Although New Jersey’s “ban the box” law attempts to protect job applicants from having to reveal their criminal record in certain situations, it does not provide complete protection, and you should be aware that your criminal conviction could affect your employment. You should speak to an attorney about the possibility of expungement of your criminal records if you meet certain conditions. This can be incredibly value for your future if you have already been convicted of a crime.
Professional Licensing, Education, and Security Clearance
Felony and certain disorderly persons offense convictions can make it difficult for you to obtain certain professional licenses, including licenses to practice law, certain financial advising, and similar licenses. You can also have a difficult time applying to vocational or graduate school, and you may further find yourself unable to obtain a security clearance related to sensitive types of employment. You should consider speaking to an attorney if your criminal history is interfering with your ability to obtain a license or clearance to see if expungement may be an option.
School Jobs and Working with Children
New Jersey state law disqualifies individuals from working for a school if they have committed certain types of crimes. Specifically, certain crimes disqualify you from working at a school, school system, or school facility supervised by the New Jersey Department of Education. These disqualifying crimes include all first and second degree felony convictions, which are some of the most serious offenses recognized by the state. These charges range from murder, to aggravated sexual assault, and robbery.
There are many other crimes outside of first and second degree indictable offenses, that can also disqualify you from school employment. For example, you may be banned from working with children if convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, stalking, luring or enticing a minor, terroristic threats, and many others. This difficulty obtaining or maintaining school employment may also affect you if you have been convicted of certain drug charges, including possession of drugs like heroin or meth, illegal possession of prescription drugs like Xanax or oxycodone, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Want to Avoid Losing Your Job for Criminal or DWI Charges?
You should consult an attorney to learn more about whether a conviction or charges pending against you might have significant adverse effects on your ability to keep or hold a job. Contact (848) 238-2100 or contact us online to speak to a member of our firm free of charge.