Saturday, July 6, 2024

Can You Become A Police Officer With A Felony

Don't Miss

Can Someone With A Certificate Of Good Conduct Become A Police Officer

Police Jobs : How to Become a Police Officer With a Felony

A CGC removes the legal barrier between a convicted person and a job as a police officer. However, it does not guarantee employment as a police officer. New York law allows a government agency to take a persons convictions into account when making hiring decisions if the conviction is relevant to the persons potential job performance. A person convicted of violent crimes or fraud might still not be able to become a police officer even with a CGC. Anyone with questions about whether a conviction can be used to bar someone from public office should contact a lawyer.

Practices Of Law Enforcement Agencies

According to the theory, the above explanation was, but if you talk about practical matters, your chances to become a police officer with a DUI are very low. The law enforcement agencies have a pool of candidates who have applied for a single announced position, and the law enforcement agencies take this as an advantage.

For example, if you apply for a position with DUI and another candidate applies for the same position with similar qualifications without a DUI or any other criminal background, the law enforcement agencies will choose the one without a criminal record.

So the question is, can you become a cop with a DUI?

And what are the implications for different substances? Well, different factors need to be explored before you can get an answer to this question, and the most crucial question is whether the substance was one of the drugs or it was just alcohol? Lets explore what differences they make.

Know Your California Criminal Record Before You Apply

It is important to know what is on your criminal record before you apply. The most common cause of rejection is the failure to disclose prior misconduct. Expunged misdemeanor convictions and sealed records of diversion/deferred entry of judgment cases must still be disclosed in a police officer employment application. It is best to disclose all of your arrests and convictions during the hiring process because the records will likely be discovered through the background check.

Expungement and other forms of relief from the court are based on rehabilitation therefore your chances of being hired will increase if you have your misdemeanor convictions expunged prior to applying. Such things as completing an education or being honorably discharged from the armed services also can help offset the negative affects of a criminal record.

To learn more about clearing your record, you can go through our extensive expungement information and education library.

Cal. Gov. Code § 1029 Adams v. County of Sacramento, 235 Cal. App. 3d 872 Cal. Gov. Code § 1029 Cal. Pen. Code §§ 29805 1203.4 CA POST Reg. § 1953 CA POST 2-251, Personal History Statement, pg. 1 Cal. Gov. Code § 1029 Boyll v. State Personnel Board, 146 Cal.App.3d 1070, 1075 CA POST Background Investigation Manual: Guidelines for the Investigator, 3-1 Cal. Govt. Code § 1031 CA POST Reg. § 1953, , CA POST 2-251, Personal History Statement, pg. 1 Cal. Pen. Code §§ 1000.4, 1210.1

Don’t Miss: Are Police Scanner Apps Live

Factors Against Hiring Felons

There are many factors working against felons in their attempt to become a police officer.

First, felons are typically unable to regain firearm rights, which would be a limiting factor in working in law enforcement.

A police officer is required to carry a gun.

Then, their legal records could become part of a case and brought to court by the defense.

This would severely jeopardize any case in which a police officer is involved.

There are also major concerns regarding trust in the public. Felons are not seen as being trustworthy.

Felons are seen as returning to a life of crime with as many as 67% returning to prison within the first two years after their release.

Being hired as a police officer will take being honest and ethical with a strong sense of integrity.

Being unafraid of hard work, capable of thinking and working independently, taking charge, and making a positive impression will all be important traits.

Felons are often not seen as having these particular qualities.

Additionally, there are traits that are often called the five Is that are key qualities for a police officer to have:

  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Impact

Again, felons are not viewed as having these characteristics. All of these serve to keep felons from gaining employment, especially as a police officer.

Why Do States Make It Difficult For Felons To Become A Cop

How to Become a Police Officer?

Theres a variety of logical reasons why a person with a criminal background may not be able to be a cop. One of the biggest reasons is that all of the felons legal records would be releasable in the event that they, as an officer of the law, were called to court. The defense team for the accused could easilyand in all likelihood wouldbring up the prior felons record in order to discredit him or her, to raise the question about their legitimacy and honesty.

It all boils down to a matter of perception. Officers are required to possess the following character attributes:

  • Integrity
  • Industry
  • Initiative
  • Impact

The cold fact is, most jury members are not willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to a prior felon. Once their background is revealed, it will be hard to alter the perception regarding whether or not the former felonnow an officer of the lawcan truly possess all of the above attributes.

A tiger, they say, cannot change its stripes. Whether this aphorism holds true or not, the perception will be that its true. A felon, the defense will work hard to prove, cannot be a valid enforcer of the law because theyve already revealed their true nature as having no integrity and of making a negative impact instead of a positive one. The jury will be too distracted by the case against the officers own reputation that theyll lose focus on the real matter at hand.

Don’t Miss: Does Police Report Automatically Go To Insurance

Can You Become A Police Officer With A Criminal Record In New Jersey

New Jersey has one of the highest concentration of jobs for police and sheriffs patrol officers in the county. In addition, the salaries for New Jersey police officers are some of the highest in the nation. Becoming a police officer in New Jersey, however, involves an intensive selection process that is made even more challenging if you have a criminal record.

The answer to the question of whether or not you can become a police officer in New Jersey with a criminal record is: it depends. Roughly half of the law enforcement agencies in New Jersey fall under the Civil Service regulations contained in Title 11A , while the other half hire in accordance with their local ordinances or regulations. Each of these jurisdictions and police departments have their own guidelines and eligibility requirements for police officers. In addition, state and local police departments possess a large degree of subjectivity with respect to the eligibility of applicants with criminal records. Thus, it is virtually impossible to know whether or not your criminal record will disqualify you from being a police officer.

As employment criteria varies from department to department, however, it is best to try to obtain as much information as possible from the recruiting department of the police department where you are applying for a position regarding their criteria.

What If It Was Alcohol Dui

If the substance that you consumed was alcohol, your chances to become a police officer are still there. If you qualify for the interview during the selection process, the officer who is taking your interview will ask you several questions. If you give satisfactory answers to your conduct, he might give you a cleat chit.

Some questions which you might expect during the interview are:

When did the offense take place?

Was it your first Dui?

Did you cause injury or death to someone while you were under the influence?

Was your car insured?

Did you cause damage to the property of people? If so, did you pay for those damages?

Do you think you need to drink regularly?

Your eligibility for the police department depends on these questions. So, be prepared for them and think of some reasonable answers to these questions you can give to the interviewer.

Also Check: How To Become A Police Sniper

Criminal History / Activity

FELONY CONVICTIONS. All applicants for the position of Police Officer shall be subject to a check of their criminal history as recorded by Federal, State, County, City, Foreign or other government body. No applicant for the position of Police Officer shall have been convicted for a criminal offense classified as a felony within his / her lifetime. Pleas of Nolo Contendere are considered a conviction.MISDEMEANOR CONVICTIONS. Applicants for the position of Police Officer who have been convicted for more than two misdemeanor offenses within their lifetime, shall be deemed unacceptable. The nature of the offense committed must have not been associated with crimes denoting moral turpitude or disrespect for law enforcement authorities or crimes of an aggravated nature, including but not limited to crimes against public order and safety, public morals and standards, sexual offenses, domestic violence, crimes against children, etc. For the purpose of this section, violations of traffic laws are not included. Pleas of Nolo Contendere are considered a conviction.DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Applicants for the position of Police Officer who have been convicted for a crime of domestic violence of the degree of felony or misdemeanor shall be unacceptable. Pleas of Nolo Contendere or First Offender Status shall be considered convictions.

Meet The Minimum Requirements


Most jurisdictions require that you be an American citizen. You should also have a driving license. By the time you graduate from the police academy, you should be 21 years old.

A background check will be carried out. A clean record is better. Many jurisdictions do ban those with felony or misdemeanor convictions.

Also Check: How To Become A Police K9 Trainer

Dishonorable Discharge From The Military

Military service and law enforcement are relatively similar career paths, and as such, they follow many of the same standards. Because of this, many employers and agencies value a candidates past military service. However, dishonorable discharge from the military is one of the top police background check disqualifiers. A dishonorable discharge occurs when an active member of the military commits a serious offense, such as an act of violence or desertion. This offense carries over into a law enforcement career, and agencies may automatically discard a candidate who has received this sentence.

Felony Arrests Rather Than A Conviction

Does a felony arrest also make someone eligible to be a police officer? Not to the same extent as a conviction. However, a felony arrest is unlikely to be overlooked in any state.

The Police Department does a thorough background investigation before admitting candidates to the police academy and will surely find the arrest. They will make their own determination. If it was a clear case of mistaken identity, you’ll probably be alright. Remember that getting into law enforcement is very competitive and that there are lots of candidates with clear criminal records you are competing against.

Recommended Reading: What Requirements Do You Need To Become A Police Officer

Felonies And Jobs In Law Enforcement

Although finding employment in law enforcement may not be possible for those with felony charges against them, there are jobs that may be appropriate and attractive to those who would have pursued a career in law enforcement these include traffic enforcement, animal control, and wildlife conservation. These jobs offer fantastic opportunities for those leaving prison.

Certificate Of Good Conduct Vs Certificate Of Relief From Disabilities

Career Guide for Correctional Officers: Criminal Justice ...

A Certificate of Good Conduct is not the same as a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities. A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities is a different certificate that people convicted of a crime in New York can apply for. It has different application requirements and can be easier to receive, but it does not restore the right to hold public office, so someone with a Certificate of Relief cannot become a police officer.

Also Check: How To Obtain Accident Police Report

Affordable New Jersey Expungement Lawyers $695 Expungements

If you have further questions about how your criminal record will affect your eligibility to become a police officer in New Jersey, contact the New Jersey expungement attorneys at Katherine OBrien Law. We have handled numerous expungements on behalf of clients who were in the process of becoming law enforcement officers.

Contact us today for a free Expungement Analysis by calling us at 856-832-2482 or by filling out our Expungement Interview Form.

False Or Incomplete Application Information

As with any type of job, its important for potential employees to be as honest and forthcoming as possible on their applications. False or incomplete information on an application or resume raises a few red flags for employers, who will likely wonder what their candidate is hiding. Honesty and integrity are vital in the criminal justice field, so police agencies keep an eye out for anyone who doesnt follow these principles throughout the application process.

Its important for police agencies to keep an eye out for these incidents and behaviors throughout the hiring process. By enlisting the help of a professional background screening company, agencies can ensure that every member of their force is committed to upholding both the law and its values. PSI Background Screening helps agencies, companies, and other employers hire the best candidates for their teams, thus creating a safer and more successful workforce, no matter what field theyre in.

Also Check: How Long Is Police Academy Training

Re: Becoming A Police Officer After A Felony Conviction

While you might technically be allowed to become a peace officer if your right to possess a firearm is restored, many departments are unlikely to seriously consider you with that conviction. The nature of your conviction and what you have done since then will be part of the equation, but a felony is a hard thing to overcome. That conviction will become part of your record with the agency and depending on the actual offense, it could become what is known as “Brady” material – that is, it could be released to the defense for most any case you are involved in if you were an officer.If you do get those rights restored, be sure to be open abou tit.Another question: Was this conviction a JUVENILE finding?

**********Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & TeacherSeek justice,Courageous, by Casting Crowns …

Becoming A Police Officer With A Felony Conviction For Nonpayment Of Child Support

Criminal Justice Career Training | Become a Police Officer or Firefighter

My question involves a background check in the State of: MissouriI’m debating about pursuing a career in law enforcement. I’m pursuing my MBA,CPA and CFA and will have 2 degrees and 2 certifications 1-2 months after graduation. I have the following flaws in my background. I plea guilty to non payment of child support and was placed on 5 year probation. I since then paided off my child support and got off probation early. I also have a visitation agreement in place for my son. Along with the child support train my license was suspended for not paying. What do yall think?

Don’t Miss: How Old Can You Be To Be A Police Officer

Crimes That May Be Overlooked By The California Police Department

In most cases, though, a record of arrest or misdemeanor conviction for prior misconduct, such as prior illegal drug use, DUI, or theft, is usually not automatically disqualifying. Similarly, juvenile convictions, even those that would amount to a felony if committed by an adult, and adult diversion and deferred entry of judgment cases, are usually not automatically disqualifying. However, among the minimum standards of being a police officer in California is possession of good moral character. Any act from your past discovered during the background check that reflects poorly on your moral character may be grounds for a determination that you lack good moral character and may result in denial of employment as a police officer.

Can A Person Legally Become A Police Officer If Married To A Felon

  • Posted on Jul 25, 2011

I disagree with the previous answer. While the law does not per se preclude a person whose spouse is a felon from attaining POST certification or from employment as a peace officer, practice may yield a different result. The fact is, police employment can be highly competitive and most modern departments engage in very sophisticated in-depth background checks of the candidates for positions. A felony record by one’s spouse will likely be revealed during the pre-employment screening, and may affect the strength of your candidacy relative to all of the other applicants for positions in the department. Assuming that you successfully compete for a law enforcement position, in many departments one’s spouse’s criminal record may also affect the kind of assignments that the department will make.The degree to which this issue may matter depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of the spouse’s criminal history: nature of the charges and underlying facts, how far in the past, single conviction or multiple, etc. The best way to handle this situation its to be totally honest and forthcoming in the pre-employment interview.

Read Also: Are Police Officers Names Public Record

Apply And Pass The Police Entrance Exam

Once you meet the minimum requirements you need to fill out an application. You will need to complete your details and attach copies of supporting documents. You will also need to write a cover letter.

If accepted by the academy, you will still need to sit the entrance exam. This exam tests several areas including problem-solving ability. Your admission will depend on your score.

More articles

Popular Articles