How an Expungement Can Help You With Your Job Search
In January 2013 alone, over 157,000 jobs were created in the United States, signaling a steady growth of the economy. Of these employers, about 73% conduct criminal background checks on all job applicants. Another 19% performed checks on select candidates (Society for Human Resource Management). That means at least 92% of all employers look into an applicant’s criminal history. Therefore, in today’s economy, it’s almost a guarantee that an employer will look into your background before making a hiring decision.
Employers can search for your criminal history by accessing a number of available databases. Your record will typically list every arrest, even if you were later found to be innocent. Since your record is never automatically cleared in New Jersey, something that happened 20 years ago will be available to the public and will follow you until you get an expungement.
Employers will rarely admit that they prefer hiring candidates without a criminal record. However, the truth is that a record can prevent you from getting the job you deserve and limit your opportunities.
In most instances, a New Jersey expungement will clear your entire criminal record including records of arrest, conviction, and probation. This means when an employer conducts a background check on you, nothing will show up. In the employer’s eyes, it’s as if you were never arrested.
Many job applications will ask if you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. Lying on an application is unwise because, as stated above, most employers will conduct a background check anyway. Therefore, it’s important to be truthful.
With an expungement, you are able to legally say that you have never been arrested. In fact, most applications will specifically ask you not to list expunged convictions. If an employer asks you to reveal an expunged record, that employer could face fines and punishment. Having an expungement truly gives you a fresh start.
There are some instances where your employer will be able to see, or you are required to disclose, your expunged records. If you are applying for a job in law enforcement, corrections, or the courts, you may be required to disclose expunged records. Furthermore, the military may have access to all your records. Certain licensing applications also require disclosure, such as some state bar associations. Learn more about the effects of an expungement.