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
Andrea Rogers
  • 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.

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