A criminal record can affect your life significantly by limiting your employment opportunities. This can prevent you from accessing career growth chances. Anyone can make bad choices, and unfortunately, yours affected your record. However, if you have paid your dues, you should consider getting a second chance.
Washington courts allow those who meet certain requirements to expunge their criminal records. With an expunction, the state will get rid of a dismissed arrest record or a criminal charge. This means that your record will not show the offense
However, you may face a challenge with what to tell a prospective employer. Should you inform them of the record or not?
You don’t need to tell them
Washington protects individuals with criminal records from being discriminated against by employers. Thus, it’s unlawful for an employer to ask about an applicant’s criminal record, either orally or in writing, or perform a criminal background check until they determine the applicant is qualified for the position.
Now, when you are considered for a position, the employer may inquire about your criminal record. When your record is expunged, you can respond with “no.” The background checks the employer runs will not uncover your past offenses.
It may depend on the type of job
There may be exceptions to the “no” answer. Some jobs may ask qualified candidates to disclose if they have expunged records. Examples include medical facilities, schools and government agencies like the military. However, it will be best to consult a professional before disclosing your record.
Applying for your record to be expunged can be challenging, but its results are satisfying. You should get professional guidance to remove the obstacles that prevent you from reaching your full potential.