How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27488
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I currently hold a Professional Educators License through

Customer Question

I currently hold a Professional Educators License through the state of Illinois. When I was convicted of a class A misdemeanor for retail theft a year ago I was placed on 18 months of conditional discharge, making it hard to obtain a teaching position. Even though this conviction does not revoke my license, however, it does send up red flags for potential employers doing background checks. I could not and still cannot afford legal representation to see what can be done so I can once again teach without being considered a thief, as there is obviously 2 sides to every story.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
Are you asking whether your conviction can be expunged? Are you still serving your discharge period? Will your case be dismissed or your adjudication withheld/sentence suspended at the end of the 18 months discharge period?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know it cannot be expunged or sealed until 4-5 years after my discharge is finished in Feb 2016. My question is what suggestions do you have so I can get a teaching job, I have student loans to pay that are not getting paid because I'm on unemployment. I'm going to ask the states attorney tomorrow if they'll lessen my discharge to a year when I go back to court tomorrow since I have not had any dealing with the court. Really, I need legal advice, some way to explain my situation to potential employers so I can get a job in the field I love and have experience in. This may be impossible but at least I tried.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
This is not a legal question, since right now the law is against you. It's a job search question best addressed by a career counselor, because under the law, you have a misdemeanor conviction and you haven't yet finished your sentence. You're going to have to disclose your conviction for the next several years, and you're not yet in a position to show that once upon a time you had a regrettable lapse in judgment but since then you've put it all behind you and taken steps to become a productive and contributing member of society again.
You may want to consider taking a job in some less restrictive profession while going back to school to further advance your desirability in education and volunteering and/or tutoring or mentoring to keep your hand in your field. There are also other education related fields, like textbook publishing or curriculum development. Any of this could make you more valuable when you've got more distance between your conviction and your job application.