A majority of my clients always like to know whether the conviction for the crime they are charged with will stay on their record. A simple answer and general rule to that question is "yes, it will stay on your record." As most of you know, the "legal world" always has its exceptions to the general rule. For example in Iowa, if a person is charged with a minor in possession of alcohol or public intoxication, the crime will be expunged as a matter of law (or automatically) off of the person's record after two years on the condition that the person does not commit any crimes within the two years following the conviction. Another way to keep a crime of someone's record is by receiving a deferred judgment. To be clear, a person is not entitled to a deferred judgment. But if a person requests and receives a deferred judgment, the crime will be expunged off their record and they can legally say they were never convicted of the crime. If a person receives a deferred judgment, there will be conditions of probation that will need to be completed, as in paying fines, before the person is successfully discharged from probation and the crime is actually dismissed or expunged off of the person's record. It should also be noted that the person will likely be required to pay a $300.00 probation fee as part of receiving a deferred judgment.
Now after explaining above a little bit about how to get convictions/crimes off of your record, it is important to know which crimes you should want off of your records. Generally, convictions such as a simple speeding ticket (within one year) or a disorderly conduct conviction should not affect your ability to obtain a job. It is the crimes like theft, forgery, fraud, assault, domestic assault, rape, sex abuse, identity theft, child endangerment, and willful injury that will significantly affect your ability to get a job. It should be importantly noted that this is not an all inclusive list; there are a myriad of other crimes that will affect your ability to obtain a job. Any crime of dishonesty or violence on your record will seriously affect your ability to get a job. Most employees do not like to hire people with violent records because they do not want the person to assault other staff members. Additionally as most businesses deal with money, employers do not tend to hire people who have misrepresented themselves or have stolen in their past.
In regard to people with drug charges on their record, employers become concerned about whether the potential employee has substance abuse issues. If the employer has the knowledge, they can look to the type of drug that was involved in the person's drug conviction. If it is a drug such as meth or cocaine, they will likely avoid hiring the person due to the fact that they may relapse and the fact that these drugs can seriously affect the way a person thinks on a daily basis. In regard to a marijuana conviction, employers want to make sure that the person is not using (or recently been using) if they are driving vehicles within the company. Under Iowa law, a person commits the offense of operating while intoxicated (OWI) if any amount of controlled substance is in the person's system while they are operating a motor-vehicle. THC (which is found in marijuana) tends to stay in a person's system longer than methamphetamines and other drugs. A fair amount employers are aware of this law and will refuse to hire anyone with any sort of drug issues.
If you have any other questions regarding your charge and future employability, feel free to contact the Feld Law Firm at 515-802-7676. It does not hurt to give us a call, as we offer a free consultation, so we can advise you on how to proceed with your issue. As always, a criminal defense attorney would be happy to point you in the right direction.