Can Having a Criminal Record Prevent You From Working for the Federal Government?

Navigating the job market with a criminal record can be challenging, especially when it comes to federal employment. This guide aims to help you understand if having a criminal record can prevent you from working for the federal government.

Can Having a Criminal Record Prevent You From Working for the Federal Government?

You may face challenges when you apply for federal jobs with a criminal record, and you need to know about the process of federal background checks, the role of expungement in improving your job prospects, the rights you have as a job applicant, and some strategies that can boost your chances. This guide covers:

  • The nature of federal background checks
  • Impact of a criminal record on federal employment
  • Expungement and its effect on federal job prospects
  • Your rights as an applicant with a criminal record
  • Strategies to improve your chances

Here’s a closer look at each.

The Nature of Federal Background Checks

Background checks for federal jobs are comprehensive. They typically include checks on your criminal history, credit records, educational background, and past employment. The federal government aims to ensure the integrity and security of its workforce, hence the detailed checks.

Related: 5 ways expunging your record can improve your life

Impact of a Criminal Record on Federal Employment

A criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you from federal employment. However, it may affect your eligibility for certain positions, especially those involving security clearances or trustworthiness assessments.

Expungement and Its Effect on Federal Job Prospects

Expungement can significantly improve your chances. After successful expungement, your criminal record will be sealed, making it invisible to most background checks. It’s important to note, however, that this doesn’t guarantee a job offer.

Your Rights as an Applicant with a Criminal Record

As an applicant, you have certain rights. The federal government is required to consider the nature of the crime, its relation to the job, and the time that’s passed since the offense. Employers cannot indiscriminately reject all applicants with a criminal record.

Strategies to Improve Your Chances

Several strategies can improve your chances, like applying for jobs where your conviction is less likely to be a barrier, demonstrating rehabilitation, and being honest about your past.

Related: Can you expunge an arson conviction in Indiana?

FAQ About Having a Criminal Record and Working for the Federal Government

Here are some frequently asked questions about criminal records and working for the federal government. If you don’t see the answers you’re looking for here, please call our office. We’re here to help.

Question: Will a federal background check always reveal my criminal record?

Answer: Generally speaking, a federal background check is quite comprehensive and can reveal your criminal record. However, it’s important to note that if your record has been expunged, most of the time, it won’t show up. There are some exceptions, particularly for specific jobs related to law enforcement or national security where even expunged records might be considered.

Can I apply for federal jobs after expunging my record?

Absolutely, you can apply for federal jobs after your record has been expunged. Expunging your record can improve your chances of landing a job because it essentially erases or seals your criminal record, making it invisible during most background checks. Keep in mind, though, that while it increases your chances, it doesn’t guarantee a job offer.

Can all crimes be expunged?

The possibility of expunging a crime largely depends on the nature of the crime and the laws of the specific state where the crime was committed. While many offenses can be expunged, there are certain offenses, like sexual crimes or crimes against children, that typically cannot be expunged. It’s crucial to consult with a legal expert to understand the expungement possibilities for your specific case.

Do all federal jobs require security clearance?

No, not all federal jobs require security clearance. However, jobs that involve access to sensitive information related to national security or public safety often do. The level of clearance required also varies depending on the job’s responsibilities. Regardless, having a clear or expunged record can still improve your prospects across a broad range of federal jobs.

Related: What to ask before you hire an expungement attorney

Is it possible to get hired with a criminal record?

Yes, it is indeed possible to get hired with a criminal record. While a criminal record may be a hurdle, it does not automatically disqualify you from all federal jobs. The federal government is required to consider several factors, such as the nature and severity of the crime, the relation of the crime to the job’s duties, and the time passed since the conviction. Demonstrating rehabilitation and personal growth can also be a significant factor in your favor.

Do You Need to Talk to an Indiana Expungement and Sealing Attorney?

If you’re ready for a fresh start, we may be able to help. Call us at 317-647-5476 or fill out the form below for a free consultation on expungement. We’re here to answer your questions and get you the fresh start you deserve.