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Getting a job with a criminal record? Everyone makes mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes I was 19 and stupid. I've been a SAHM for the past 4 years, going to college at night. I've got over 60 units, ready to transfer to a university and excited. But one thing nagging at me is something that happened six years ago and i got arrested for shoplifting at 19 I was young and hadnt found Jesus as my savior, so i did drugs and stole, partied. Now Im thinking about my major and I'm wondering what kind of job will accept me, who wants to hire someone who used to steal. It was a misdemeanor commercial burglary, i served no jail time only successfully completed probation for one year. Moms, do you have a past history of criminal acts, and did this hurt you getting a career? Or do you have any knowledge on the subject?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:08 AM on Dec. 21, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (10)
  • I used to hire for my previous job. It honestly depends on what field you are wanting into. It will be hard to find a job in management or even one working with money, such as a bank. Good luck.

    Answer by ronjwake at 2:11 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • A question of job applications is about crime and drugs. The forms usually say a background check will be done and it will be employer's choice to ask further questions of you or not. I'd keep up good work as you're doing now to have great college references form profs for future jobs. Also, for a good while at least maybe try to not go for job that handles money or drugs or alcohol as a requirement. Look for a desk job away from a cash draw. That just give you more time to build up more good references. If you have any close friends who can vouch for you, maybe if they or their partners have jobs in a field that's not those above, you could apply there even as a starting point receptionist to also build references.

    If you have a counsellor at college which you must, then maybe confide in them. Good Luck you sound like you're really grown!!!

    Answer by lfl at 2:19 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • I don't know about where you live but here in Canada after a certain amount of time after probation is complete you can apply for a pardon and have your record expunged. It isn't free and it takes a lot of time to get completed but in the end you will no longer have to worry about your record. Check into that and see if it's an option for you.

    And although I agree everyone makes mistakes, everyone also has choices and it's nobody's fault but yours that you have a record. 19 is old enough to know better. This is just another consequence of your decision to break the law.

    Good luck.

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 8:35 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • Focus on small companies, they are less likely to ask about a criminal background.

    There are lots of great job hunting tips here:


    Answer by rkoloms at 9:12 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • Sweetheart, my DH has 3 felonies and a number of smaller things on his record... He's never had an issue getting a job because of them. They are over 5 years old and most background companies won't even include them after 7... Besides, one shop lifting arrest isn't going to muck up the wheels that much!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:07 AM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • Not sure if you can do this, but its worth looking into. I think after so many years you can have this offense espounged from your record. Then it doesn't exist anymore. Def something to look into. call an attorney. GL

    Answer by robyann at 12:55 PM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • I am not really there a time limit having to do with records. Who knows. But I have never accepted Jesus as my savior...LOL...and I never stole anything either. I WAS raised by wonderful parents who were good examples and taught me to be honest,work hard and to not expect anything for free. Parents and education will be a much better inspiration to be honest....

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:31 PM on Dec. 21, 2009

  • There only allowed to keep it on your record for so many yrs, but Im sure if you explain your situtation to the person interviewing you being completely honest, it would look better on you. Some companies even get a kick back for hiring those with records. Your right people do make mistakes, but the important part is you learned a lesson and are willilng to straighten your life up and not expect a handout just because . Also a one time shoplifting charge isn't going to damn things to much unless your trying to work dealing with money.. Good Luck.

    Answer by wewerepunked at 7:17 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • I see this was posted last year, but I am responding to this question because I Googled "getting a job with a criminal record" and this question on this site is one of a few constructive things that came up on Google. I got in legal trouble in mid 2008 for unauthorized use of property. I know what I did was wrong and will know it for the rest of my life. I am truly sorry for what I did, not because I got caught, but because it was wrong and I've matured. I didn't do this because I was raised wrong (as a few of these comments might suggest). I did it because I was young, immature, and thought I wouldn't get caught. The past year has been hell trying to find a job. And, I know its a little because of the economy, but mostly because of 1 mistake I made. This week, I went to an interview and was so certain I had the job, pending a drug test & background check. I don't do drugs, so no worry there.

    Answer by mzswirlgirl at 7:19 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I got a congrats & welcome to the company email Tuesday, and I was so happy until a few hours ago I got a call and was told they couldn't hire me because of my record. Again, I know what I did was wrong, but there ISN'T anyone on this Earth who is perfect. So, these responses shaming people for being human and making a poor choice and mistake is such BS. I've applied for so many jobs the past year and I haven't gotten anywhere. I pose the question what is one to do who has made a mistake, learned from it, needs employment to support myself and my 2 children, yet can' t get a single employer to give me a chance? I have a great deal of education and skills.

    Answer by mzswirlgirl at 7:25 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

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