Protecting Your Rights, Defending Your Future

How does my first criminal charge impact my background check?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2022 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

It can be devastating when one ill-timed mistake seems to set your life spiraling downwards. In a matter of an instant, you can go from a typical day to wondering how this moment could impact your goals and ambitions.

There are increasingly more jobs and opportunities that require background checks. However, it is not always clear what the person ordering the check will look for when they read the results.

Here’s what you should know about how a criminal charge could impact future background checks.

Recent law change in Illinois

After you have been through your first criminal charges, hearing an employer say they are going to run a background check can feel intimidating. However, a law passed last year makes it a civil rights violation to use your conviction record in an employment decision unless there is a substantial relationship between the job and the offense or if there would be an unreasonable risk to people or property.

When an employer has a concern about a conviction history, they must look at specific mitigating factors, including:

  • Time since the conviction
  • Number of convictions
  • Facts surrounding the conviction
  • Evidence of rehabilitation efforts

If the employer still decides not to hire based on the conviction record and the mitigating factors, the employer is required to give the employee notice and the opportunity to appeal their decision.

Asking about arrests

Facing criminal actions can be stressful. While you should always take an arrest seriously, an employer cannot ask about your arrest history when it comes to your background check.

Since an arrest can lead to a conviction, it is essential to do what you can to avoid conviction. You need an experienced advocate to support you through your criminal proceedings.