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After being arrested, many questions arise. Indeed, there are a lot of things to think about. All of this can leave you uncertain about what your next best action should be. Of the many questions that come up, you may wonder whether you have to tell your employer about your legal issues. You can get help sorting it all out from a criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can help you determine what the best response is, depending on your situation and your options.

What to Disclose If You’re Applying for a Job

Many employers have the right to “employ at will.” This means they can hire or fire an employee for whatever reason they choose, as long as it’s nondiscriminatory. Additionally, many job applications request that prospective employees disclose their legal records or request a background check. This situation can be tricky to navigate, too. Whether you are required to disclose or not is determined on a case-by-case basis.

For instance, the arrest or conviction records for first-time offenders might be sealed, which means that only law enforcement can access this data. Furthermore, first-time offenders are more apt to have their charges reduced or dismissed.

However, when it comes to your employer and your job security, honesty is often the wisest policy. If it is necessary and unavoidable, admit to your past arrest or convictions on a job application and explain what happened honestly. Also, explain what you learned from it and how it has contributed to your growth. Most employers appreciate it when employees and potential employees display honesty.

What to Disclose If You’re Already Employed

If you are currently employed, the decision to disclose your arrest or conviction to your employer is entirely your choice from a legal perspective. However, there may be an exception: If you are professionally licensed through the state you live in, as a doctor, nurse, teacher, or another licensed profession, you are required to disclose any new arrests and convictions.

As mentioned above, it’s always better to be honest and err on the side of complete transparency. Still, your personal life is your business, and you can choose to keep it private. Be aware that employers, like every other citizen, have access to any public records, including unsealed arrest and conviction records. Moreover, before hiring or while employed, some employers require their personnel to disclose an arrest or conviction. In this event, not doing so would violate the company’s policy. Company policy violations are grounds for termination.

Get Professional Legal Answers for Your Questions

Protecting yourself and maintaining your employment is a substantial consideration. If you remain open and honest with your employer, you may find them very understanding. However, before you volunteer or share any disclosures, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. 

A criminal defense lawyer can review your unique circumstances, provide options, and make recommendations to keep your employment secure after an arrest or conviction. Schedule a consultation regarding your rights with a qualified criminal defender, like a Criminal Defense Attorney in DC, today.

Thank you to the experts at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., for their insight into criminal defense law.