Mexico, MO asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Domestic Violence for Missouri

Q: I pled guilty to a domestic violence charge in 1988. I'm now applying for a job at a school, should I report it?

The conviction was in Washington State and I haven't been in any trouble since.

1 Lawyer Answer

Andrea Rogers

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: The conviction will show up on your criminal record, so your best option is to disclose it on your application if they ask about your criminal history, and explain what happened and how you have changed your behavior since that time. The fact that it was so long ago and you have had no legal trouble since that time will be very helpful to you. It's always best to disclose your criminal history in advance so you can provide an explanation, rather than say nothing and have it show up on your criminal record without having an opportunity to explain what happened.

If you're not sure if this conviction is going to show up on your criminal record, you can go to police headquarters in the county in which you live and get fingerprinted and buy a copy of your criminal record. A fingerprint record will be the most thorough, so you will know for sure what will be disclosed to your potential employer. Schools are "entitled entities" that are allowed to see both open and closed records, so they can do a more thorough background check than other types of employers.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.