You want to advance your career, but you must now do so with a drug offense on your criminal record. Because you have a minor charge, must you disclose your encounter with Arizona police to employers?
Chron explains how to navigate a job search when you have a misdemeanor offense. Learn how to complete applications and conduct yourself during interviews without harming your chances of employment.
Look over applications
Before filling out applications, read over them carefully. While employment forms could contain language about drug charges, you may only need to disclose a felony charge, not a misdemeanor. You could also only need to share convictions that happened in the last seven to 10 years.
Sealed and expunged records
Perhaps you want to expunge your drug offense from your record. If you succeed, you do not have to report the charge on applications. The same applies if you seal your record. To know what employers see when they look into your criminal past, run a background check on yourself to double-check that the court expunged or sealed your record.
Learn your rights
Understand what state law says about whether companies may use your criminal past during the hiring process. Under current state law, employers may need to disqualify a minor violation or offense. Once you know your current rights, you have a better idea of how to protect them during interviews and on job applications.
You may not need to put your job search on hold because of your drug charge. With the right facts, you know where and how to focus your efforts on securing your next position.