Drivers with immaculate licences are either incredibly cautious motorists or incredibly lucky. Most of us can’t avoid the odd penalty point here and there… and it’s normal to make mistakes.
That said, there’s a world of difference between causing an accident while under the influence and driving a couple of mph above the speed limit. Depending on the severity of your offence, you might find that your record affects your ability to gain future employment; especially in this financial climate which is causing a growing number of stress related issues.
Your employer is within his or her rights to check your background before making you a workplace fixture. If the company chooses to look into your criminal history, they will know if you’ve been arrested within the past 7 years and if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.
You may get lucky. Not all employers attempt background checks. But for some professions, it’s mandatory, such as working in care or with children.
Unless you’re asked, you’re not obliged to reveal any past convictions. You also won’t need to discuss any minor traffic violations, any cases that were dismissed in court, or juvenile crimes (this record may be sealed).
If you’re concerned about what your criminal record contains, don’t stay in the dark. You can request a copy from the Department of Justice, before you apply for a job.
Any private company is allowed to deny you employment, if you have a criminal conviction on your record. So it’s better to be upfront about your past convictions, rather than lie and let them discover for themselves – the latter isn’t strategically sound. Lying about your record may even be a crime, depending on the law of the land.
If given the opportunity, honesty is the best policy. For an employer, lying about a criminal conviction sends a clear message that you’re not to be trusted. When it’s appropriate, disclose your history and try to offer a positive spin on your situation. Show that you’ve learned from your past mistakes and you’re looking for a fresh start. Provide evidence that you are dependable and use this as an opportunity to impress your employer.
If you committed a serious driving offence in the past, such as drunk driving, it’s up to you to level with the company. Perhaps you have taken supplementary driving courses or become teetotal, as a result of your previous convictions. However, if your job relies on operating a vehicle, some businesses may not be able to accept you as an employer, based on company protocol. Talk to motor offence solicitors, to ascertain where the law stands on your driving convictions.
Where possible, avoid job advertisements where your criminal conviction could become a problem and target other positions, as a priority. This may mean that you’ll need to undertake a new career. Try to see this as an opportunity to try something new.
If you only have minor driving offences on your record, the good news is that you shouldn’t have much to worry about!