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Can You Become A Police Officer With An Expunged Felony

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Current Or Prior Law Enforcement Officers

Police Jobs : How to Become a Police Officer With a Felony
  • Currently under any departmental investigation.
  • Under investigation for any excessive use of force issues or civil rights violations or sexual harassment complaints or similar internal investigations.
  • Have a history of sustained excessive use of force complaints or civil rights violations or sexual harassment complaints or similar internal investigations.
  • Currently party to a suit involving allegations of excessive use of force, wrongful death or civil rights violations.

Minimum Requirements To Be A Police Officer In Tennessee

  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a high school graduate or possess equivalence. No waivers will be granted for minimum education requirements
  • Not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge or to any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances
  • The agency must present a copy of any DD-214s, DD-215s and DD873s along with the application for certification.
  • The commission may consider a waiver from pre-employment requirements for a person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor , or controlled substances when the offense was classed as a misdemeanor.
  • No waiver shall be granted while officer is under the jurisdiction of the court or considered on probation, whether supervised or unsupervised, and in the case of driving while intoxicated the officer shall have met all the requirements of the Tennessee Department of Safety and have been restored his/her permanent driving privileges under the laws of the State of Tennessee.
  • No waiver will be granted for felony convictions or a narcotics violation that could result in a felony charge.
  • Have his fingerprints on file with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

    A Felony Being Used Against An Officer

    Another reason that a felon would not be able to become a police officer is that their legal records could be used against them these could be used as a part of a defense hearing which could be brought before a court, possibly to imply that there is a conflict of interest or that you were not a good judge of character in the event of the arrest, which could weaken a potential case.

    This may be the clearest example of a felon failing the good moral character requirement, as their past transgressions are being used against them this is possibly unfair in a world where the guilty are meant to be offered chances of rehabilitation, however, it is the truth of reality that an officers past may be used against them by the defense in a courtroom.

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    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

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

    Can I Become a Police Officer With an Expunged Felony ...

    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.

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    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 Tiger Change Its Stripes

    As we mentioned above, there is a perception that a felon cannot alter their own mindset, that theyll always be a felon on the inside. In some cases, this argument is well-founded. Certainly many convicted felons do return to their former bad habits, including breaking the law.

    Statistically, well over half of all prisoners will return to prison within two years of release.

    Whether this is due to the stigma of being a felon leading to a loss of other options is outside the boundaries of this articles intent. Were not interested in why a felon might return to jail, only in the fact that they are more likely to than not. And the only reason were interested in this point to explain how the states arrived at their universal decision to block convicts from being officers.

    Police departments simply dont want to take the chance. And as far as the public itself goes, in general the consensus is that citizens would not feel comfortable knowing felons were protecting them. Situations are tense enough in many parts of the U.S., without adding additional fuel to the fire. Faith in our police forces has sunk to an all-time low, due to many high-profile incidents reported in the media in recent years. No state is willing to let their law enforcements image suffer any avoidable damage.

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    Can You Be A Cop If You Have Been Arrested

    Possibly. Having been arrested is not an automatic disqualifier for one considering a job as a police officer. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, this will be taken into account. Keep in mind that, even if the arrest has been expunged, it must be disclosed in applications to law enforcement jobs . As mentioned above, police departments will consider a wide variety of factors when considering applications and the arrest is just one.

    How A Misdemeanor Conviction Can Affect You Becoming A Police Officer In Maryland


    There are a number of misdemeanor convictions that will disqualify you from becoming a police officer in Maryland. However, not every misdemeanor conviction will create an impossible roadblock to pursuing a career in law enforcement. That does not mean that you should allow the conviction to stay on your record. Maryland law especially lists misdemeanor charges that are eligible for expungement. There is a mandatory waiting period of ten years from the date you completed your sentence, including probation, for most of the charges. For some specific misdemeanors, such as second-degree assault or a domestic violence charge, the waiting period is fifteen years. If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record, contact our Maryland expungement attorney to determine if you are eligible to clear your record.

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    What Effect Does Expungement Have

    In New Jersey, when applying for a position in law enforcement, even after your criminal record has been expunged you are still required to disclose your record and law enforcement agencies will still be able to see the expunged records. See N.J.S.A. 2C:52-27.

    That being said, if you are serious about pursuing a career in law enforcement, there are several reasons why it is vital that you have your criminal record expunged prior to applying for a law enforcement position. First, the expungement mechanism in New Jersey is based on the presumption that you have been rehabilitated. Thus, if your criminal record was expunged, your chances of being hired will increase and the expungement itself serves as proof of rehabilitation. Additional accomplishments since your criminal record, such as obtaining a degree or pursuing a career in the military, can also help establish that you have been rehabilitated.

    Moreover, anyone is able to check to see if a police officer has a criminal record by running a background check on them or by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. Once their criminal records are expunged, however, the information will no longer be publicly accessible.

    Will A Felony Arrest Bar You From A Career In Law Enforcement


    Given the power law enforcement wields, background checks are a necessary fact of life for anyone who wants to be a cop. A felony arrest probably won’t be a dealbreaker. If it led to a conviction, however, the odds against you landing a job are steep. Depending on circumstances, you may be able to beat the odds.


    If you were arrested for a felony but not convicted, police departments may find you acceptable, depending on the circumstances. Conviction for a felony or a serious misdemeanor is a much bigger problem and will disqualify you with the majority of police departments around the country.

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    Felony Arrests And Disqualification

    On the other hand, it is acceptable to become a police officer if they have only experienced a felony arrest. As long as there was no conviction brought against the individual, they are not barred from becoming a police officer.

    However, this would still show in a background check and, as such, would possibly need to be addressed during the process of applying and informing the potential employers of your past if you find yourself in this situation.

    This may be the ideal situation to search for a felony arrest to be expunged from your record, allowing it not to show up on a background check some states now are even making exceptions for those who have spent and expunged felony convictions.

    There are many services available to those who would wish to attempt to expunge their felony convictions, but it is best to search the aid of a lawyer or other legal representative to best represent your case when a crime has been expunged from a legal record, it can no longer be accessed by the public record and an individual does not need to admit their offenses in, for example, an interview situation.

    However, this is not true in all states and can depend on a number of factors such as where the felony was committed, how long ago, and how the individual has been reformed since the event, so it would be a good idea to investigate further.

    Know What Is On Your Record Before You Apply

    How to Become a Police Officer?

    Before you apply to become a police officer, if you are unsure of what is on your record, it is vital that you find out exactly what is on your record and that you disclose everything regardless of whether or not your criminal record was expunged. Not only are you under a legal obligation to disclose your expunged criminal record when applying for a position in law enforcement, but it is best to disclose your entire criminal record during the hiring process anyway as the expunged records are almost certain to be revealed through the background check. In fact, the most common cause applicants are rejected is due to their failure to accurately disclose their criminal record.

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    Civilian Career Options Related To Law Enforcement

    If your past felony offense resulted in a conviction too severe to be eligible for expungement or to be overlooked by your prospective employer, you may have to face the fact that a career as a police officer is out of reach. However, there are numerous civilian career options that require many of the same skills and job duties as traditional law enforcement roles and offer a similar level of fulfillment and job satisfaction.

    When you imagine a career in law enforcement, you probably think about police positions with local, state or federal government entities. As a sworn officer of law enforcement, these officers have the authority to make arrests within their jurisdiction. Sworn law enforcement officers are also the ones most likely to be required to have a clean criminal record. Civilian law enforcement roles often have less strict requirements.

    Some civilian law enforcement jobs are still housed within government entities, such as crime scene investigators, child protection investigators and criminal research specialists in federal agencies. Others work independently as private investigators or for companies in roles like asset protection manager. Nonprofit organizations may also need civilian law enforcement personnel, including crime prevention specialists and victim services advocates.

    Additional Resources

    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.

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    Top Police Background Check Disqualifiers

    Law enforcement is an essential part of our society. Police officers work hard to preserve peace and safety among their fellow citizens. Because they play such a crucial role, only the safest, most trustworthy individuals should be able to join the police force. To help ensure this, police agencies follow a strict and thorough background check process for every new officer they hire. This investigation gathers information from criminal records, employment and education history, the candidates friends and family, and other resources to make sure they are a good fit for this important job. Heres a list of the top police background check disqualifiers that agencies look for when hiring new law enforcement officers.

    Can I Apply To The Police Department With A Misdemeanor On My Record


    Many people make mistakes when they are young and end up with a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor. The conviction may seem relatively unimportant until the decision to apply for employment with a police department comes up. A misdemeanor conviction will certainly have an affect on an application for employment with a police department however, it may not automatically disqualify the applicant.

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    Can You Be A Cop With A Dui Conviction

    A dui conviction isnt one of those automatic disqualifies, however if the case is still pending or if your drivers license is suspended, L.E. agencies will likely not hire you. Another potential issue might be how many alcohol related arrests have you had. A single lapse in judgment might be forgivable, but more than one isnt so forgiving.

    Responses To Can You Become A Correctional Officer With A Felony

  • Adam. HoltonApril 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm#

    I have worked at three correctional facilities since being released from a federal prison for three different states .I also started as a co when I quit I was a captain..I did so well I received the supervisor of the quarter before the quarter ended.I even caught several officers bringing in contraband drugs and cell phones .contact. me I will tell you more.

  • marco tjadenAugust 16, 2015 at 5:14 am#

    Hi Adam,

    How do I get a job as C.O.? I was also in a Federal Correctional Institute for a drug offense.

  • shannonAugust 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm#

    I have a felony from when I was 18 I am now 23. I was not convicted and it can be sealed but not expunged. my original dream was to be an actual officer but that seems to be out the window but regardless I hope there is something in this field for me.

  • Jacque KeepitAugust 27, 2015 at 5:53 am#

    Im 38 and had my rights restored except to bare arms. I plan on getting that back as well. My felony was evade and elude in 2005. Do you think i have a chance?

  • Taylor clauseAugust 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm#

    I have a felony that I was charged with in 2013 I was 18 at the time of the incident. It was a nonviolent offense, and to be honest I would love to be able to work as a co especially to show what a huge turn around people can make Does the violent vs nonviolent make any difference?

  • Andre BillieAugust 30, 2015 at 8:42 am#

    So how did you go by starting the process? And how can I get in touch with you.

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