Can I get a job after a conviction?

Applying for and getting a job with a criminal record is possible if you take the right steps and be prepared to show what you have learned.

People who are arrested for and convicted of an impaired driving offense have several things about which to be concerned. Immediately they may be most focused on their defense and the consequences associated with their conviction. Eventually they must also look beyond and identify the best ways to move forward and restore their lives. This often involves searching for and getting a new job.

Job hunting and background checks

It is definitely possible for a person to get a job after being convicted of a driving while intoxicated offense. The candidate should, however, be prepared for the potential employer to conduct a background check.

As explained by Forbes, the Society for Human Resources Management indicates up to 96 percent of employers check records of potential employees before finalizing a new hire or making a formal job offer.

One thing job seekers should do is to proactively run their own background checks. This will allow them to know first hand exactly what a company will see so they can be prepared to speak to any indiscretions.

Finding the right job to apply for

Another important thing to keep in mind is to target jobs where a previous drunk driving conviction would not be relevant. For example, the Houston Chronicle indicates that a person may have an easier time getting hired as a sales associate than as a commercial driver since the former position does not require driving.

The timing of the conviction relative to the timing of the job application may also come into play. A DWI from 15 years ago is less likely to cause an issue than one from last year.

Character references and learning opportunities

It is normal to provide professional or job-related references when applying for a new position. For people with criminal convictions in their pasts, offering references that can speak to their general character may also be beneficial.

When the time comes for a background check to be done, applicants should proactively tell employers about their conviction. The focal point of the conversation should be on what the applicant learned from the experience. This will help the employer feel confident about trusting that such behaviors will not be repeated and make the candidate look like a better fit for the job than if there remained a concern about future criminal charges that might interfere with job performance.

Legal advice may help

Anyone who has been charged with a drunk driving crime should talk to a lawyer promptly. This will allow them to have someone in their court who fully understands the laws and the defense process.