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Arrested but Not Convicted_ Facts About Job Hunting With a Criminal Record

Arrested but Not Convicted: Facts About Job Hunting With a Criminal Record


Job hunting for viable career opportunities is stressful enough on its own. You always wonder whether your past experiences are going to interfere with your ability to get hired, what more if you have a criminal record under your belt. While employers are expected to do background checks on any applicant, it shouldn’t discourage you from seeking gainful employment even if you have a criminal record. If you have been arrested but not convicted of any crime, being proactive and transparent during your job search can go a long way to increase your chances of getting hired.


Your Rights and the Law

In most states, job seekers are under no obligation to report arrests that didn’t lead to convictions to potential employers unless asked. There are even states like California, Hawaii, and Illinois that prohibit employers from asking applicants about their arrest histories. If you happen to be applying for a job in those states, you do have the right to refuse to answer such questions.


On the other hand, states that allow employers to ask applications about arrest histories are a different story. You are required to answer in all honesty if it comes up on your interview. Also, your employer is very likely to do a criminal background check, which will show your arrest history even if you’re not convicted. In situations like this, being honest is definitely the best option for you. If you even consider lying and the employer finds out about it, they have every right to refuse to hire you.


Dropped Charges

If you happen to be arrested and the charges were immediately dropped, or you were acquitted, there’s no better way to go about it than just to be honest. It’s actually a perfect opportunity to take the initiative and be upfront about the circumstances involving your arrest. Your employer will probably already know this fact about you prior to your interview. Just be honest and stress that you were never found guilty of the crime.


Pending Charges

In case you currently have outstanding charges, and you’re awaiting trial, the same principle should still apply here. Be honest about your current situation with your potential employer and tell them what you’re being charged with and the circumstances around it. Tell them upfront that you’ll probably need to request time off for court hearings, meeting with your lawyer, and potentially sentencing, if convicted. Again, you need to emphasize to your employer that you haven’t been convicted and explain to them your innocence.


Please remember that they can still refuse to hire you based on the information you provided in states that allow this. However, it still paints a better image to your employer if you’re honest from the beginning.



Finding jobs and career opportunities if you’ve got a criminal record under your name can be difficult, but not impossible. All it takes is knowing all the details about your record and just being honest about it to your employer. Make sure you get all the details right and avoid lying to your employer as much as possible.


Fallen Vallor is your ally when it comes to finding jobs hiring ex-felons and convicted individuals in Oklahoma. We are here to help people get another chance at having a normal life after serving their time. Our website contains an up-to-date business directory that anyone has access to free of charge. Contact us today to learn more about Fallen Valor’s advocacies.

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