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Will Criminal Charges Affect Your Professional Goals?

 Posted on February 09,2024 in Asset Forfeiture

TN defense lawyerFinding a job with a criminal record may be more challenging than you would think. It is usually more difficult for employees who have had any past criminal activity to find well-paying positions.

With jobs that have licensing requirements, the licensing board may deny your application if they see you have a criminal history. Even if your position does not require licensing, you may run into problems when your employer conducts a background check as part of your application.

If you have been denied a professional license or a job due to past crimes, do not hesitate to contact our Knoxville criminal defense attorney.

Background Checks

When you apply for any job, you will fill out an application. Part of the application process is giving your employer permission to conduct a background check.

In performing a background check, anyone can see your past employment history, credit history, driving record, and if you have had any arrests, charges, convictions, incarceration, and arrest warrants. Background checks are also used for other purposes, including by landlords regarding potential tenants.

Occupational Licensing Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee is known to have strict occupational licensing restrictions. State licensing boards have been known to deny applications based on an individual’s criminal history. This type of discrimination causes those who have served time to struggle financially to survive on their own.

Thankfully, the Tennessee legislature passed the Fresh Start Act, which amended the previous law. This bipartisan law prohibits licensing boards from denying an application based on past criminal activity when it has nothing to do with the occupation at hand. If the licensing board does deny an ex-convict’s application, it must specify why in writing.

This law only protects applications whose jobs are unrelated to prior offenses; it does not protect all applicants. A Knox County criminal defense attorney can assist you if you believe that you have been discriminated against regarding a professional license.

Probation and Job Prospects

As of January 2022, there were just under 25,000 felons incarcerated in Tennessee jails and prisons. When a sentence term ends, many of these felons will be eligible for determinate release, a special type of probation.

As a condition of probation, a probation officer will regularly check on you, noting your living and work arrangements. Proof of employment is normally a requirement in probation, and if you are unable to secure a job, you may be considered in violation of your probation.

Unfortunately, there are currently no laws in Tennessee protecting the rights of ex-offenders applying for jobs. With the promise of a warm meal and shelter, it is no wonder that the recidivism rate among ex-convicts is so high.

Speak with Our Knoxville, TN, Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Your professional goals should not be undermined due to a past mistake. If you believe that you have been unfairly denied a professional license or job due to your criminal record, our Knox County, TN, criminal defense attorney wants to hear from you. Contact Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney online or by calling 865-281-1000 to schedule your free consultation.

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