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Answering Your Criminal Record Questions

Jul 15, 2008
There probably is not that many people that set out with the intention of gaining a criminal record. That being said there are some that seem to gravitate towards owning a very colorful record that reflects their past misdeeds. Some gain criminal records when they are still juveniles for doing miscellaneous deeds that gain them the attention of the law.

Others inadvertently make mistakes and now have a criminal record to show for their mistakes. Sometimes these records can prevent them from being employed or even from renting a place to stay.

It is definitely a case of your past coming back to haunt you. You may have some questions about criminal records and if so this article is for you.

Are juvenile criminal records available for employers to see?

When a juvenile (anyone beneath the age of eighteen) is arrested and charged with a crime, that crime is added to their criminal record. In most cases the record becomes expunged when they reach the age of eighteen and it is simply as if the record does not exist.

There are however some exceptions as law enforcement personnel can always have access to previous juvenile records especially if the teenager is repeating erroneous behavior such as those that got him or her into trouble to begin with. Felonies may remain on the record even past eighteen especially if the person has been charged as an adult.

What does it mean to have a criminal record?

It means that many of the rights and privileges that you once enjoyed now may be endangered. You may be constantly under the watchful eye of the law. If you are on parole there may be several limitations such as moving, changing jobs or even being around certain people that you once associated with.

Having a criminal record is not something that people should aspire to obtain. It is life altering and can definitely make life harder than it typically would be.

Can a job discriminate due to me having a criminal record?

Most job applications have an area where you are to check whether or not you have a felony conviction. Many jobs are now requiring you to mention if you have a misdemeanor as well. Jobs are not supposed to discriminate based on any information but there will be some jobs that you may not be able to obtain with a criminal record.

If you have a DUI on your record, you may not be able to obtain a job in the transportation industry. If you are a known bank robber you can probably count out a bank job.

If I have a criminal record, can I still own a firearm?

That question depends largely on the type of criminal record you possess, what you were convicted for and where you live. In Washington State you cannot own a firearm or be in possession of a firearm if you are a convicted felon.

Most parole regulations state that a person on parole cannot be in possession of a firearm. To do so would be an automatic violation of parole and you could be sent back to prison. You have to check the laws of your state when you go to fill out the application for a firearm. It is far better to be told "No" then to take the chance and possess a firearm without a license.
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