If you are facing drug charges, you may worry about the criminal penalties that often come with a conviction. After all, depending on the nature of your charges, you may lose your freedom, pay a steep fine or both. Regrettably, you may also face some life-related consequences.
As many as 100 million Americans have some sort of criminal record. In Pennsylvania, employers typically may inquire about your criminal history. There are some limitations as to what they can do with the information a background check uncovers, however.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from discrimination in employment. To comply with this federal law, employers must only reject applicants or employees whose criminal records interfere with their ability to do their jobs. In making this determination, employers may consider the severity of the offense, the age of the conviction and the nature of the job.
In the commonwealth, employee protections go even further. For employers to use a past criminal matter against you, the matter must involve a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Even then, your conviction must make you unsuitable for the job. Arrests and charges that do not lead to convictions should not affect your employability in the Keystone State.
Your defense strategy
When it comes to employment, there is a major difference between an arrest and a conviction. Consequently, if you are facing drug charges, it may be in your interests to mount an aggressive defense. Alternatively, you may be able to plea to a lesser charge that does not make you unsuitable for employment.
Ultimately, when making defense-related decisions, it is critical to think about how your actions may affect all parts of your life.