Almost 5 years ago, I was charged with Theft
in the 5th degree. I was 21 years old at the time and making the first big mistake in my life. I had never had any legal trouble before this charge, not even a speeding ticket. I had been an honor student through high school and continued to get good grades through college. In addition, I have been heavily involved in school and community activities (considered a leader) and was even awarded a Presidential Volunteer Award.
I consider myself to be a standup citizen and an asset to any company I work for. Luckily, I have been able to hold rather high-level jobs in the past including General Manager for a retail store and Director of a nonprofit organization. However, as I try to further my career now, I am faced with the devastating obstacle of background checks.
I cannot even count how many job applications I have filled out (some even overly qualified for) and had to put down my unfortunate criminal
history, resulting in no interviews. I have also lost jobs already hired for once a background check comes back. I’ve been asked to leave 2 jobs after I had left previous ones and already started with the new company, resulting in me being unemployed and not qualifying for unemployment services.
I clearly possess very hirable qualities but remain struggling to find work.
At the time of the charge, my lawyer recommended I get everything done as quickly as possible taking the charge and the lesser fine, rather than having the charge wiped from my record with a higher fine and community service. I expressed my concern for getting jobs after graduation with a simple misdemeanor
attached to my name but he assured me it would not be an issue. Had I known just how wrong he was, I would have gladly paid a larger fee and given as much of my time as they wanted.
A mistake made when I was young should not affect my entire career and ultimately, my life. How can you help me?