Any type of criminal charge can put your career in jeopardy, but a felony charge can be particularly damaging. While misdemeanors can affect your professional reputation, they are the least serious of offences. Felonies, on the other hand, are reserved for more serious crimes and carry a punishment of at least one year in jail.
Should You Notify Your Employer of a Felony Charge?
Most employment contracts include a clause which requires you to notify your employer if you’re charged with a crime. However, the exact wording of your content will determine when you have to inform your employer. Some contracts may state that you have notify your employer if you’re convicted of a crime, rather than simply being charged, for example.
If you’re convicted of a felony, there’s no doubt you’ll have to tell your employer. When you’re facing a year or more in jail, it’s highly likely you’ll lose your job, which means your criminal record will have a direct impact on your career and current role.
Can You Rebuild Your Career?
Rebuilding your career after a felony conviction isn’t impossible, but it is difficult. If you require a license or certification for your role, for example, you may find that the relevant state licensing board are unable or unwilling to readmit you into the profession.
Furthermore, a significant number of employers won’t consider your application seriously once they spot you’ve got a felony conviction. This is one of the reasons people find it so hard to rebuild their lives after being released from prison, and why it’s so important to fight felony charges from the outset. To learn more about the impact felony convictions can have on your life, take a look at the linked blog post.
Dealing with a Felony Charge
If you’re charged with any crime, it’s always advisable to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. No matter how trivial the charge may seem, accessing legal advice can help to protect your liberty and livelihood. The severe punishments and serious consequences of a felony charge make it even more important to seek legal advice and representation.
In some instances, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to argue that your charges should be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. Although you’ll still have a criminal record, a misdemeanor conviction doesn’t necessarily mean going to jail. Instead, you could receive probation, community service, fines and/or rehabilitation. As a result, it’s much easier to protect your professional standing and retain your career.
Legal Representation and Felony Charges
Even if it’s not possible to reduce your felony charge to a misdemeanor, your criminal defense attorney can ensure you’re properly represented in court, which can help to achieve a not guilty verdict or drastically reduce your punishment. Going to trial can be a stressful experience, so you’ll want to ensure you have the right legal team by your side.
While you can apply for some historical felony crimes to be expunged, the best way to protect yourself and your career may be to fight the charges when they’re made against you or to negotiate a lighter sentence. With the right legal advice, you can find the best way to deal with any criminal charges you’re facing and access the support and guidance you need.