Many felony criminal convictions can leave the defendant facing years in prison, depending on the crime a person allegedly committed. However, what many people do not realize is the lasting effects a felony conviction can have on their careers. As experienced Orlando criminal defense attorneys, we have provided information below regarding the possible negative impact of a felony conviction on someone's career.
Immediate loss of your job. Today, many employers will immediately terminate an employee who is convicted of a felony. This is particularly true when an employee is convicted of a crime that is related directly to his/her job, or that reveals a moral problem/issue, such as a sex crime. If you are not terminated immediately, you may lose your job eventually due to the amount of time you must be off work to attend court hearings and handle your legal issues.
You may be prohibited from entering certain professions. Individuals who are convicted of sex crimes or felony offenses involving drugs or alcohol may not be able to work in professions including those involving children such as daycares, or as commercial drivers who require a CDL license. Many districts will not hire individuals who have been convicted of a felony for positions such as teaching. A felony conviction may severely limit your profession choices, depending on the crime and your career choice.
Background checks performed by potential employers. Most companies today perform background checks before hiring a potential employee. If you do not list your conviction on your employment application, the employer will likely discover it when running a background check. This means that if you are hired for the job before the background check is conducted, you may be terminated due to misrepresentation. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) does not approve companies having blanket policies that prohibit the hiring of those with a criminal history, however many employers "get around" this by demonstrating that the applicant's conviction in some way relates directly to the job he/she would be performing.
Professional licenses or business permits. In many cases, obtaining a professional license such as those necessary to practice psychology, medicine, law, or other careers is impossible with a felony criminal conviction. Acquiring a license for nursing, plumbing, or electrical contracting may also be difficult or impossible. Individuals who already have a license/permit to practice in a particular field may have their license suspended or revoked if convicted of a felony offense.
The bottom line is that having a felony conviction on your criminal record can affect your current career, or prevent you from working in the profession of your choosing in the future. The consequences of a felony conviction are much more far-reaching than potential prison time, fines, or other penalties. Working with a criminal defense lawyer who is capable of preventing a conviction or having charges reduced from a felony to misdemeanor, or even dropped altogether is the best way to protect your career and