If you are sentenced to community service, will future employees and neighbors find out?

If you are sentenced to community service, will future employees and neighbors find out?

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Scott Dylan Westerlund
 | 
Rather than focusing on rehabilitating criminal offenders, the US justice system is designed to be punitive. That means the goal of convictions and sentencing is to punish individuals who have committed crimes. Once you’ve served your time, you can re-enter society and start over. Right?

Not so fast! Having a criminal record will continue to haunt you, especially when the topic comes up with potential employers or people you have a personal relationship with. In 2021, it’s also important to know whether people will be able to find your community service conviction online. Learn the answers to all your concerns below.

 

Is My Community Service Conviction Public Record?


Have you ever seen a celebrity mugshot? You likely have, and that feat is possible because arrest records are considered public records. That means any community service conviction or arrest will become widely available. Not only is your arrest and mugshot a part of public record, but media sources can legally talk about your alleged crime, record, and identity, too.

Depending on how many websites or sources talk about your arrest, your record might become searchable online, too. The last thing you want is for your mugshot to appear on the top of the page when you Google your name!

If you experienced a community service conviction, then you were likely convicted of a minor crime. More serious crimes often come with sentences like jail time. Community service, on the other hand, is achievable without going behind bars. Even so, your new crime will remain on your record for life.

 

Will Future Employers See My Criminal Conviction on Background Checks?


If you’ve ever applied for a job before, then you know that employers almost always ask the same question on applications – have you been arrested for a misdemeanor offense? If you were hit with a community service conviction, then the answer is yes. You must legally disclose the truth to a potential employer. By default, that means all your potential future employers will see your criminal conviction.

Even if you don’t fill out an application, your employer may opt to conduct a background check before they hire you. Arrest records will appear on background checks.

 

How to Clean Up Your Public Record Through Expungement


What if I told you that it’s entirely possible (and legal) to completely clear away your criminal record? Believe it or not, a community service conviction can be erased from your record so that you can officially say that you’ve never been convicted of a crime.

Was your original charge a misdemeanor? If so, then you need to wait at least two years after your court date before you can start to consider expunging your record. If you’ve waited out the time and haven’t gotten into trouble again, then you should reach out to a lawyer.

You and an attorney will petition the court that originally handled your case. The prosecutor will get notified about your expungement request, and a hearing will get scheduled. At your court date, a judge will deem whether expungement should be granted or not.

Once you’ve gone through the process, expunged and sealed convictions will no longer be on your record. They won’t show up on background checks, and you can officially claim the conviction never happened.

 

Moving Past a Minor Criminal Conviction


It’s never a good feeling to know you have a community service conviction on your permanent criminal record. If you don’t take any type of action, then your conviction will remain on your record forever. That means you’ll have to disclose your arrest to potential employers, and you’ll likely want to tell your friends and family members to avoid an awkward situation, too. Not only that, but your conviction may even appear online when people search for your name.

There is a solution to these uncomfortable truths, though. You can expunge your criminal record, which erases your conviction. If you’re interested in pursuing this type of action, then it’s important to stay on the law’s good side and reach out to a lawyer.

That’s where we can come in to help! Head over to our lawyer search now to find an experienced expungement attorney in your area. They can help you determine if you’re eligible to have your prior conviction expunged from your record so you can start over in 2021.


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Scott Dylan Westerlund

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