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Will You be Able to Apply for a Government Job if You Have a Criminal Record?

Do you want to be a government employee but have a criminal record? Then, you must know that you might be able to do the job you want, but it will again depend on the offenses you had been convicted of and the sort of work you are interested in under the federal government. When it comes to being a civil servant, crimes involving drugs or domestic violence can pose serious obstacles.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, “Being an ex-offender does not prevent you from obtaining Federal Employment. OPM, or the hiring agency, considers your criminal conduct in determining your suitability but there are no general prohibitions against hiring you.” So, you can relax about being eligible for a government position with a criminal record. But it can be a little challenging as the OPM also notes, “There are some regulations which will prohibit you from working in certain positions if you have a specific conviction.”

For example, according to the Public Law 1-4-208 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, it has been stated that people convicted of domestic violence are prohibited from all such employments involving shipping, possessing, transporting, or receiving ammunition or firearms. This involves all the misdemeanors and will apply irrespective of whether the domestic violence was considered as a federal or state crime.

Or, take, for example, FBI employment will disqualify any kind of felony convictions, right from the use of illegal drugs to failing to appear for a urine test including marijuana which might be legalized or at least decriminalized for medical and recreational reasons by many states but it is still illegitimate under the federal law. Even many current employees in the FBI have been terminated for such misdemeanors or felony charges. Therefore, your job with a criminal record will also depend on which government agency you are pursuing for the job.

The OPM provides several products and tools to the varied government agencies to run a background check on the potential employees, which will help you to screen the applicants with a criminal record. Conducted generally by the Federal Investigative Services (FIS) and formulating the foundation for the determination of fitness, making security clearance, or suitability of the job, such investigations draw its authority from a wide range of statutes and executive orders.

A law passed in Pennsylvania in 2018 and signed by the governor may help people who wish to apply for government jobs but have criminal records. The law, called the Clean Slate Bill, allows for the sealing of records in certain criminal cases. An offender must have paid all debts ordered by the court and been conviction-free for ten years of an offense that required them to serve a year or longer in jail. The offender who meets these qualifications must petition the court to get their records sealed.

In other cases, records are sealed automatically. Though still carrying the ten-year stipulation, a person who is convicted of a second- or third-degree misdemeanor and who served fewer than two years in prison, will have their record sealed at the end of the ten-year conviction-free period with no action on their part.

So, have you been charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania? Or do you know someone who is facing criminal charges? Then, you must realize that this will not just lead to incarceration or imposition of hefty fines, but you could actually lose a number of professional opportunities that might turn your dream career into a reality. Therefore, it is essential that someone who has been subjected to an arrest for a misdemeanor or a felony in this state must resort to a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer or any other criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania. He or she will be able to provide you with the right legal representation so that your interests can be protected in an effective manner without compromising on any job role that you want to pursue including the one under the federal government.

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