Some of the most long-lasting and severe consequences of criminal activity remain long after you have completed your sentence. The negative stigma of a criminal record can prove to be a considerable burden, and it may also affect your ability to get a job. Some might argue that this is counter-productive, since criminals who cannot get a job are more likely to return to a life of crime in order to support themselves financially. But can an employer really reject you based on your criminal history in Mississippi?
If you have questions about how your criminal record might affect your life going forward, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney in Mississippi. Our legal professionals can explain exactly what kind of barriers you may face in your future, whether you are concerned about employment, certain rights being taken away, or simply your reputation. We can also help you explore options for dealing with your criminal record. In some cases you can have your criminal record expunged.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Although Mississippi has no general laws that regulate the consideration of criminal records in employment, it is subject to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is a federal law. The FCRA prevents employers from collecting information about applicants without a specific purpose that is clearly outlined in the Act. When an employer takes an adverse action (such as denying your application), they must notify you. Not all professions require background checks, and in most cases, employers will only request your criminal record if the position is of a certain nature or character.
The Fresh Start Act
When it comes to occupational licensing, Mississippi follows the Fresh Start Act of 2019. This set of laws states that you may not be disqualified from engaging in any licensed profession if you have been convicted of a crime in the past. The only exception is if the crime is directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the licensed occupation. So for example, if you were caught selling illegally harvested organs, you probably will not be able to become a licensed healthcare professional. But if you were convicted for selling knockoff designer handbags, this probably will not affect your ability to obtain a medical license.
If your criminal record is proving to be a problem as you try to find work, you can also pursue an expungement. When your criminal record is expunged, it is sealed and can no longer be viewed by an employer. If an employer asks whether you have a criminal record and it has been expunged, you can legally tell them you have no criminal record.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have questions about how your criminal record might affect your employment opportunities in the future, be sure to get in touch with Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We have helped a number of individuals in Mississippi pursue a fresh slate and put their criminal pasts behind them. We can also help you pursue options like expungements, which can help you pursue employment opportunities without having to worry about your criminal record. Book your consultation today.