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March 21, 2011 - Getting a Job with a Felony Conviction in Utah


Finding a job in today's economy can be tough, even without a criminal record.  But if you have been branded as a "convicted felon," finding employment can seem impossible.  If you are having difficulty finding work as a result of your criminal record, a criminal defense attorney can help.

Many employers are very concerned with the backgrounds of people they intend to hire.  For many jobs, you may be subject to a criminal background check.  Even if the employer doesn't run a formal background check, many employment applications ask about your criminal record.  If you leave information out of the application that later comes to light, you can be in real trouble.

Although there are many employers who will automatically disqualify a potential job candidate based on a criminal record, there are employers out there who will hire people with criminal records.  But even with those employers, if the decision comes down to two equally qualified candidates, one with a felony conviction and one without . . . it is fairly easy to predict who will get the job.

There are potential solutions to this problem that many people overlook.  With the help of a Utah criminal defense attorney, you may be able to clean up your record.  

An expungement gives you the chance to wipe a conviction off your record.  Once your record is expunged, you can answer most job applications as though the conviction never happened.

Unfortunately, expungements have become harder to obtain as the Utah legislature has tightened the requirements for eligibility.  But even if you are not eligible for an expungement, there may still be a way to remove a felony conviction from your record.

More often overlooked is the option of having an old conviction reduced.  A Utah "402" reduction gives a person who has successfully completed probation the chance to have the level of their conviction reduced.  This can bring a felony conviction down to a misdemeanor level, and can allow you to honestly answer "no" when asked if you have been convicted of a felony.

In today's job market, you need every advantage you can get.  Don't let your criminal record hold you back if you are eligible to have it expunged or reduced.


This blog is the work of Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen W. Howard.  It is not intended to be legal advice, and the information contained herein may not be applicable to your particular factual or legal situation.  If you have been accused of criminal conduct, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the best way to handle your case.



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Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

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