Some of the worst penalties for a criminal conviction are those you suffer outside the confines of the judicial system. For example, in Connecticut, when the judge or jury finds you guilty of a crime, the Division of Criminal Justice places a record of your conviction on file with the state court system and becomes public information.
Getting a job
When applying for a job in Connecticut, an employer has the right to ask about your criminal history. You are not required to disclose any arrests that did not result in a conviction, but you must reveal any convictions on your record. The employer may then use this information to decide if you and your history are a good fit for their business.
Further, the law makes it mandatory for some employers to perform background checks on all job applicants, including those with criminal records. These employers include those who work with children or other vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or disabled. Working in these fields may be difficult if you have a conviction on your record.
Other professional consequences
If you are already employed, your employer may choose to fire you or take other disciplinary action if they find out about your conviction. You may also lose your professional license if the court convicted you of a crime related to your line of work. For example, if you are a doctor or nurse convicted of health care fraud, you will likely lose your license to practice medicine.
What can you do
After some time (usually 3 to 5 years), your criminal defense attorney can request the court to expunge or seal your criminal record. Sealing the records will make it much harder for potential employers and others to find out about your conviction.
You can also request a pardon from the Governor of Connecticut. A pardon does not erase your criminal record, but it does show that you have taken the necessary actions to reform and are willing to accept accountability for your past choices.
If you have a criminal record, it is essential to understand the possible repercussions to make the best decisions for your future. While it may be difficult to earn a living after paying heavy fines and serving prison time, there should still be a chance to do so.