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    Is It Possible to Get a Job In California With a Criminal Record?

    Posted on: June 13th, 2023 by Dod Law

    California Criminal RecordCalifornia Criminal Record

    Do you have a California criminal record?  If you’ve been in trouble with law enforcement, all you want to do is to put that experience behind you and move on with your life. However, a criminal conviction may continue to complicate your life. This is because a criminal record sticks around as a representation of your past actions and can often seem like a barrier to getting a job. Many employers perform criminal background checks during the hiring process.

    So, can it be possible to get a job in California with a criminal record? Fortunately, job seekers with a criminal record have some strong protections under California law. Our team at Dod Law, APC can explain and protect your rights every step of the way.

    Can You Get a Job in California With a Criminal Record?

    While it’s common for employers to ask about or check your criminal history at some point in the hiring process, you can still get a job in California with a criminal record.

    You’re legally required to disclose your criminal conviction when required to. However, that should not prevent you from finding your dream job. California laws offer some protections to job seekers with a criminal record. Typically, an employer may not be entirely right to deny you employment based on your history.

    California Background Check Laws

    While background checks are generally legal, California law regulates how employers can use your criminal record. It imposes various restrictions that employers must comply with when conducting background checks. Here are a few regulations that can limit an employer’s ability to check criminal records: 

    California’s Ban the Box Law

    This law prohibits employers from asking about your criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment. Therefore, your employer can only ask about your criminal convictions after an interview or a formal employment offer. Additionally, employers cannot automatically exclude you from the job even if you have a conviction. They are required to perform an individualized assessment and review your convictions before reaching a decision.

    Notice Requirements

    An employer can choose to deny an applicant a job if their conviction history has a direct, adverse relationship with the job’s specific duties. However, an employer must notify an individual of the disqualifying conviction before denying employment.

    Criminal Records Employers Cannot Consider

    While employers can check your criminal history, there are certain types of records they may not consider during the hiring or employment process. Some of the records off limits for employers may include:

    • Arrest records that did not lead to convictions
    • Sealed records
    • Convictions that have been statutorily eradicated
    • Expunged records

    Employers cannot also ask about juvenile records related to arrests, detentions, processing, or adjudications from juvenile courts.

    How to Get a Job With a Criminal Record

    Many employers are willing to hire individuals with a criminal record. However, you can prepare yourself and increase your chances of getting a job by:

    Provide Evidence of Rehabilitation

    Before rejecting your application, an employer must give you at least five business days to challenge the decision or provide mitigating evidence that lessens the conviction. Therefore, you can respond to the employer’s notice by providing evidence of rehabilitation. This can include probation letters, letters of recommendation from counselors, and certificates of rehabilitation.


    You can also have some convictions expunged to reduce the impact of your criminal record. An expungement will seal your records from the general public. Therefore, your criminal record won’t be disclosed to potential employers when they perform a background check. You’re also not obligated to disclose your conviction to your prospective employer.

    Consult a Skilled California Criminal Defense Attorney at Dod Law, APC

    Besides the immediate consequences of a crime, such as jail time or fines, a criminal conviction can also leave you with a criminal record. Unfortunately, a permanent criminal record will continue to impact different aspects of your life even after your sentence ends. That’s why hiring an experienced California criminal defense lawyer is important when facing criminal charges that can lead to a criminal record.

    Attorneys at Dod Law, APC can help protect your rights and guide you to finding the fresh start you’re looking for. We are experienced with the complex criminal justice system and have the skills to handle all significant aspects of your case from start to finish. Talk to us at our San Diego office (619) 814-5110 | Vista office or use our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation. Our team has over 18 years of experience and is ready to fight for you.

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    Meet Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani

    • Recent Case Results
    • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association | Named San Diego County’s 2023 Trial Lawyer Of The Year
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    • Over 20 years of criminal defense experience
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