When facing criminal charges, whether for property crimes, drug crimes, acts of violence or other reasons, it is difficult to know what to expect or how the outcome of your case might affect your future. One thing that is certain is that a criminal conviction on your record almost always hinders your ability to obtain employment in certain fields. For many in West Virginia, this means settling for low-paying jobs or jobs that are not satisfying.
Despite federal laws prohibiting employers from asking about your criminal record on certain job applications, a simple background check will quickly reveal any convictions. For some employers, particularly those with open positions requiring professional certifications, a criminal conviction on your record is a mark they cannot overlook. This is important to keep in mind if you are currently facing criminal charges.
Cross these off the list
If you have aspirations of pursuing a career in a field you feel passionate about or at least enjoy, you would be wise to seek a strong legal advisor to assist you during the criminal proceedings ahead. Avoiding a conviction is the surest way of preventing your legal issues from interfering with your plans for your life. While it may seem unfair to have one mistake derail your future, the fact is that the agencies that govern certain professions expect their representatives to have impeccable backgrounds, including:
- The medical field, such as a physician, nurse or pharmacist, especially if the charges against you are drug-related
- Finance, such as an investor or accountant, especially if the charges against you are related to fraud or theft
- Elected offices and government positions, since citizens, whose taxes pay your salary, may not be willing to support someone with a criminal record
- Law enforcement, including the FBI, since it may indicate the applicant does not respect the law
- Jobs that involve working with children, including teaching or working in a child care facility, since parents may not feel comfortable leaving their children under the care of someone with a criminal conviction in the past
Even jobs in the retail industry may be out of reach if your conviction involves theft, drug crimes or violence. This may severely limit your options and your chances to rise above your current situation. Avoiding a conviction is critical to having a future filled with opportunities. This is why it is important to seek solid legal counsel and begin building a strong criminal defense as quickly as possible following your arrest.