Will My Employer Find Out About My Drug Possession Case?

Drug possession charges can result in jail time, fines, and suspension of your driver’s license. But you might also be concerned about losing your job, whether your employer can ask about your criminal record, and if there are careers you will no longer be eligible for if you were charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Can My Employer Ask About Criminal Charges?

No state or federal law prohibits an employer from asking about criminal charges. But in some instances, firing someone or denying them employment could be grounds for a claim of employment discrimination. Many employers wait until after you have been offered the job before asking about your criminal record.

You should answer honestly when a job application asks if you have any criminal convictions. If a company learns you lied on your application, you will not likely receive a job offer. You could lose your job if a company later learns you lied on your job application.

Will My Drug Case Show Up on a Criminal Background Check?

Many employers use criminal background checks as part of a job application. Typically, an employer hires a third party to conduct a pre-employment screening. The information on the criminal background check will depend on what the employer requested. Most background checks include the following:

  • Date of arrest;
  • Criminal charges filed;
  • Criminal case number;
  • The severity of the charge (misdemeanor or felony);
  • Disposition of the case; and
  • Sentence.

Do I Need to Report the Criminal Charges to My Employer?

Most jobs provide employees with an employee handbook when they are hired. Your employee handbook may require that you report criminal charges to your employer, especially if driving is part of your job, you are required to maintain a Commercial Driver’s License, and your driver’s license was suspended when you were charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Other professions require that you report an arrest or conviction before you can renew your license. Doctors, nurses, realtors, pharmacists, and other professionals may be required to report an arrest or conviction when they renew their professional licenses. But if your arrest has no bearing on your job and you are not required to report it, you are under no legal obligation to tell your employer you were charged with a crime.

Do I Need to Report a Conviction That Was Expunged?

If you were convicted of a crime but had your record expunged, you generally do not need to put it on a job application or admit to it in an interview. Some exceptions exist, especially if you are applying for certain government jobs.

Do I Need to Disclose a Drug Possession Charge on a Job Application?

Before reporting an arrest or conviction, read the question carefully. Some job applications only require that you report convictions but not arrests. Others ask about felonies but not misdemeanors. Some job applications include time limits and might only ask about convictions in the last three years.

What About “Ban the Box” Initiatives?

Some states have “ban the box” initiatives that prevent certain employers from asking job applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime. The “box” in ban the box refers to a checkbox on many job applications asks candidates whether they have a criminal history. While Wyoming legislators have proposed bills that would prevent private employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history, these laws have not passed.

These initiatives are intended to help people with a criminal history have a fair chance at finding work by encouraging employers to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications before denying employment. Even in states that have enacted ban the box laws, some employers are exempt, such as people applying for security jobs, those in the financial profession, and those working with children or older adults.

Is Your Criminal Record Making Your Job Search Harder? Just Criminal Law Can Help.

A criminal record, especially a conviction for possession of a controlled substance, can make applying for a job more difficult. In many cases, criminal record expungement can help.

The team at Just Criminal Law can help you expunge your criminal history. We will obtain and review your criminal record to assess whether you are eligible. If you are eligible, we will file a Petition for Expungement in the appropriate court. We will represent you at the expungement hearing and work to convince the judge that expungement is appropriate.

Once your criminal record has been expunged, it can only be seen by law enforcement agents. When a job application asks whether you have a criminal conviction, you can truthfully answer “No.”

To get started with your criminal record expungement, contact Just Criminal Law today.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Drug Charges