Arrests happen to those that obviously have committed crimes and those that have not. The first aspect that rushes to the mind of a person being arrested is being bailed out. After being bailed out, most individuals start worrying about what their employer will do in response to the arrest. There are job roles where your arrest is the least of your employer’s worries, as you might not interact with other employees outside of emails.
Protecting your career trajectory will be a far larger challenge after an arrest. The key detail to remember is that not all companies do background checks for contractors. Those that do might look at an arrest from over a decade ago as something in the past. Certain arrests will come with a stigma so enlisting the help of a top criminal defense lawyer is imperative. Below will delve into legal representation along with other tactics to reduce/eliminate the impact on your career of an arrest.
Getting Experienced Legal Representation
Finding experienced criminal defense lawyers in your area should not present a huge challenge. Relying on a public defender can be risky as these legal professionals are usually overloaded with cases. You want criminal defense lawyers that can focus fully on your case. The paralegal team that some firms sport can be another benefit of working with an established firm.
The firm you choose should be aware of any previous criminal charges. Aaron Black, a Phoenix drug lawyer, notes for drug trafficking charges of methamphetamine,” Probation eligible if no prior convictions. However, a judge can sentence up to 1 year in county jail. If one allegeable prior felony conviction 2.25 – 7.5 years in prison. If two allegeable prior felony convictions 6-15 years in prison.” Honesty with a criminal defense attorney can be very important as you do not want prior charges to hamper your current case.
Having Charges Expunged
Charges can be expunged or removed from your criminal record. These charges will still show up in background checks for jobs in the federal government or military. Domestic violence charges cannot be expunged along with sex crimes. Even DUI in a state like Florida cannot be expunged for 75 years which is basically a lifetime. There will be fees that go along with expungement, which include court fees along with costs of representation. A number of criminal defense attorneys offer these services, so inquiring is an intelligent idea.
Should You Tell Your Employer?
Arrests might have to be disclosed to your employer if you work a government or corporate job. A lack of language in company handbooks or in HR policies about disclosing arrests can be important. The fact that you are innocent until proven guilty is another factor that should be considered. You might have been wrongfully arrested and want to avoid termination from your job. When applying for new positions at different companies, you need to disclose the arrest or conviction. Honesty at this point is very important, as a background check can reveal you are lying.
Remote Jobs Might Care Far Less About Certain Charges
Remote work is the new normal for so many people, which can be an advantage if you’ve been arrested. Battery charges might be taken quite lightly if you never will meet coworkers due to geographic challenges. Theft is always going to be taken seriously, as a remote employee might have access to company or client payment information. A DUI/DWI will likely be a charge you do not disclose to a remote employer due to a lack of need to commute to and from the office. A few searches of the internet to remove mugshot photos might be all you need to do with a remote employer.
Ensuring You Are Never Arrested Again
Substance abuse can lead to a number of arrests in one capacity or another. Addiction rarely stays stagnant and worsens in a majority of cases for addicts. Getting substance abuse counseling or entering a 12-step program might be the best course of action. Other individuals might need anger management when arrested for an assault or battery charge. Diversion programs likely will not be available to those arrested for the exact same charge within a few years. Professionals ruin their careers in some cases for repeatedly being arrested for the same thing. Charges worsen, which can lead a misdemeanor to be a felony charge after multiple arrests/convictions.
Arrests don’t have to define your career in the future if you manage them appropriately now. Take the time to get a plan together and discuss various options with your criminal defense lawyer.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.