Making mistakes is an indelible part of the human experience, but for some who have been convicted of a crime, the consequences can last for a lifetime. Sometimes, an impulsive decision can lead to humiliation and loss of freedom on being arrested and incarcerated.
Many people utilize their time in prison to rehabilitate themselves. Jail offers an opportunity to detox for inmates who were on drugs. Many people enroll in reading classes, obtain a GED, or even register for college classes while behind bars with the genuine intention of making their lives better. They fully intend to be honest, law-abiding citizens.
But the ability of such people to rehabilitate themselves is affected by laws or the absence of laws that allow employers to discriminate against people with a criminal record. Often times, these regulations are contrary to the public policy of enabling rehabilitation.
These laws compromise the initiatives of people who want to better their life situation. This dichotomous occurrence has prompted many government agencies to pass laws and implement programs to change this dynamic.
Collateral Consequences on Job Prospects
There are a variety of collateral consequences that a person may face after committing a crime. A common consequence for many people convicted of a crime is that their employment prospects suffer negative effects as employers do not give them a chance after they come to know about their criminal conviction.
Sometimes these consequences are reasonable and backed by a sense of logic. But in other cases, there is less logical reasoning. For instance, preventing someone from getting a job because of some indiscretion they committed several years ago.
Unfortunately, there is no federal law that forbids discrimination on the basis of a criminal record. In fact, it has been found by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and some courts that using a person’s criminal conviction to refuse employment may be classified as a type of racial discrimination.
The reasoning for the above is that the arrest and conviction rates for specific racial groups are disproportionately high, which means that the use of criminal convictions to refuse employment may, in reality, be a way of concealing racial discrimination.
Immediate Termination of Employment
If an employee has been convicted of a crime, particularly a felony, many employers provide for the immediate termination of the convicted employee. In certain cases, such termination is only limited to convictions that are directly related to the position or a felony conviction that highlights to moral issues.
Sometimes a conviction may not directly cause immediate termination, but the employee may lose their job anyway due to time off work during their sentence or while they appear in court to handle their legal matters.
Exclusion from Certain Professions
If a person has a felony conviction, they will be prohibited from working in certain professions. For instance, school districts may not employ such people to teach or undertake other tasks in the district. Registered sex offenders are disallowed from working in any profession that necessitates a check of such registration prior to employment. Union rules may prohibit employing a felon.
If you have been convicted of a felony related to alcohol and substances, transportation companies may not be willing to hire you as a commercial truck operator as you will likely be perceived as a safety concern to driving a large truck. Companies will not be willing to put themselves up for allegations of negligent hiring by knowingly employing a convicted felon.
In cases where a business is willing to hire someone with a criminal record, the insurer would insure the employee at much higher rates, which can further be a roadblock to potential employment.
Before extending the offer letter, many companies perform background checks. Such checks can reveal a possible criminal record of the applicant under consideration. The applicant can typically face termination of employment if they fail to report the conviction on an application.
Clearing a Criminal Record in AL
In the state of Alabama, there are no provisions for the expungement of adult convictions. But it is possible to expunge dismissed.
Misdemeanor and non-violent felony records, which did not lead to a conviction, are usually eligible to be expunged. Such erasure is possible even if the charges were dropped after the successful completion of a diversion program, drug court program, mental health court program, or veteran’s court program.
In addition, Alabama frequently grants pardons. The pardon process to record clearance is a feasible relief option in Alabama, unlike many states.
Legal Assistance from Well-Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyers
The criminal defense lawyers at Zach Peagler Law Firm are highly skilled in the area of pretrial litigation strategies. Our attorneys understand that every case can potentially change the life course of any person facing a criminal lawsuit.
We have a proven and successful track record, and we will have your back throughout the complex judicial process involved in criminal cases. To speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney, call today at (205) 871-9990.