Skip to Content
NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

A Criminal Conviction Can Bar You From Many Jobs


A Criminal Conviction Can Bar You From a Job.

A misdemeanor or felony conviction in New York will give you a lifetime permanent criminal record keeping you from getting the job you wanted and worked very hard for. More and more employers are now deciding not to hire people who have even one conviction on their records, even though they are more than qualified and have paid their debt to society.

The majority of employers say that they would "probably not" or "definitely not" hire an applicant with a criminal record.[i]

This is because to employers a prior record signals that the applicant will keep committing crimes and might be a risk to other workers and customers.

To look up prior records, many employers run a criminal background checks. Criminal records however are often full of mistakes and missing information. At least half of record systems are missing information on how an arrest was eventually disposed of. Report of the National Task Force on the Commercial Sale of Criminal Justice Record Information (pdf, 104 pages) Exit Notice, 2005. What that means is that after you were arrested, whether you were found innocent, or if your case was dismissed, it is possible for that information to be missing from your record.

Even the Department of Justice has said:

"No single source exists that provides complete up-to-date information about a person's criminal history."[ii]

Criminal records run the gamut- from minor, first time, nonviolent offenses, to more serious violent ones like murder, rape, and robbery. Most arrests are for relatively minor and nonviolent offenses. Among the nearly 14 million arrests recorded in 2009 in the US, only 4 percent were for serious violent crimes. 56 percent of all arrests are for offenses such as disorderly conduct, drunkenness, prostitution, loitering, and DWI/DUI. Crime in the United States, 2009, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010.

A criminal record for any of these charges will keep many from obtaining employment. This is although studies have found that stable employment that is an important predictor of successful re-entry and desistance from crime.[iii]

It is unfortunate that one conviction for a misdemeanor or felony in New York, will give you a permanent criminal record and may prevent you from job opportunities that you worked your whole life to earn. If you are facing a criminal charge in New York, consult with a good criminal defense attorney who will fight to make sure that you do not get a criminal record. Contact us at the Law Offices of Lance Fletcher for a Evaluation evaluation.

[i] Holzer, Harry J., "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," The Journal of Law and Economics (2006): 451, 453–454.

[ii] U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, The Attorney General's Report on Criminal History Background Checks (pdf, 153 pages), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, June 2006.

[iii] Laub, John H., and Robert J. Sampson, "Understanding Desistance from Crime"​Exit Notice, Crime & Justice 28(1): 17–24.