The Impact of a Criminal Charge on Employment in NJ
March 21, 2019
Facing criminal charges in New Jersey can be a nightmare for any number of reasons, but once the initial shock of the initial arrest and arraignment has subsided, many people will be left with one looming question in particular: how will this affect my job? Below provides a brief look at the employment consequences of criminal charges in New Jersey. If you are worried about losing your job because of criminal charges in Union County, call our defense firm in Cranford at (908) 838-0150 for immediate assistance from an experienced criminal attorney. A member of our team is available to provide you with additional insight based on the unique facts of your case in a free consultation. Regardless of whether you have been arrested for assault, shoplifting, drugs, illegal weapons, domestic violence, or DUI, we are prepared to defend your innocence.
Applying for a Job after being Arrested, Charged, or Convicted in Union County
Thankfully for those who have been arrested, charged, or convicted of crimes in New Jersey, the state offers a number of protections for criminal record information through the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act. Under that law, New Jersey employers are not permitted to ask you questions about your criminal record on an employment application or during an initial interview. You may report employers who violate this rule by writing a complaint and addressing it to New Jersey’s Department of Labor.
Things get a little murkier after the initial application and interview. The law does not prohibit employers from subsequently asking you about criminal convictions or arrests. For example, if your employer requires you to report new arrests following your hire date and if you are later charged with a crime, you are not protected from disclosing that arrest, charge, or conviction. Employers may even arguably make background check inquiries after the application and initial interview but prior to formally offering you the job, provided that they satisfy certain requirements. This is one of the many reasons why seeking to expunge your criminal record can be so beneficial to your employment and financial situation long-term. The law also does not prohibit licensing agencies from revoking licenses or clearances required for you to perform you job, discussed further below.
How will Elizabeth NJ Criminal Charges affect my Professional License?
Many industries rely on state or private licenses, certifications, or clearances for their workers. If you work in aerospace, for example, you may be required to obtain and hold a certain level of security clearance issued by the federal government. That clearance can be revoked, or your renewal application denied, if you are charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey. Doctors and lawyers can face disciplinary proceedings or suspensions by their medical boards or bar associations if they are charged with or convicted of crimes as well. For example, a doctor accused of providing prescription drugs illegally can lose their medical license permanently if convicted. And these consequences reach more people than just white-collar professionals. Truck drivers and other professional drivers can lose their commercial licenses if they are convicted of DUI/DWI or similar charges, and further examples abound.
Can I work for the Government in NJ with a Charge on my Record?
Both police departments and prosecutorial agencies can deny applicants based on their criminal records in New Jersey and this is a very common occurrence. Moreovr, applicants for certain teaching positions in New Jersey may be automatically disqualified if they have committed certain serious crimes. Public trust positions in state and local government can also potentially vet applicants for criminal convictions. That said, the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act does provide some protection for people trying to put their criminal history behind them, and not all industries are as restricted as appointed government positions, police agencies, and educator jobs.
Charged with a Crime in Linden, Will I Lose my Job?
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Cranford, Union Township, Linden, Summit, Roselle Park, Elizabeth, Plainfield, or anywhere else in Union County, you should speak with a lawyer about your options as soon as you can. The criminal defense attorneys at our firm will fight to protect your rights and help you avoid negative job consequences when facing criminal charges. We do it for clients everyday and are passionate about delivering the best possible results. Contact us (908) 838-0150 to speak with a lawyer free of charge. Phones are answered all day and night to better serve you.