The advent of the Internet has made it easier for information to be transmitted across the country and around the world. As information becomes more easily accessible, though, privacy often falls by the wayside. This is especially true where criminal convictions are concerned. Now, more than ever, a decades-old youthful indiscretion can have a devastating effect on one's employment, housing or educational opportunities. In Idaho this is especially true with the advent of the Idaho Repository. Friends, family, enemies and employers alike have instant access to most if not all of your criminal records.
Martens Law Office, P.C. in Boise, Idaho helps people clear their records of criminal convictions. In some cases, we can have your record expunged and sealed, in others, we can have the case dismissed. If you were sent on a RIDER (Retained Jurisdiction), your felony conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor. If you received a Withheld Judgment (WHJ) the conviction can generally be removed relatively easily. Removal of convictions, especially in the case of felony convictions will restore your civil rights, restore your gun rights and help you with employment opportunities.
Years of strict sentencing policies, "zero tolerance laws" and hard line enforcement of nonviolent crimes like possession of a controlled substance, petty theft, vandalism and even something as simple as a conviction for open container have resulted in more people with criminal histories than ever before applying for jobs and being denied consideration for the desired position. Approximately 700,000 people are released from jails and prisons annually, and most - if not all - of them will be looking for work shortly after their release.
The National Employment Law Project estimates that approximately 65 million Americans have a criminal record (involving either an arrest or a conviction). The country's current rocky economic road means that those people are competing for jobs against similarly qualified workers with no criminal history, putting them at an instant disadvantage in this age of instantaneous background checks via the Internet.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management roughly 90 percent of large employers polled reported that they conducted criminal background checks on applicants. Many employers are using the existence of any sort of criminal history as a reason to pass over an applicant for an opportunity, even though that attitude is discriminatory and flies in the face of guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating that an employer should be weighing a number of different factors about a candidate's criminal history, including:
Given the fact that a criminal history can have an impact on potential job and other opportunities for years to come, it is vitally important that any investigation and arrest be handled by a skilled criminal defense attorney. If you are suspected of a crime or you have been charged, contact a criminal lawyer in your area to start protecting your rights immediately. The 2014 Idaho Legislature amended Idaho Code 19-2604. The new law took effect on July 1, 2014 and makes it easier for individuals to clean up their criminal records. The amended statute specifically states that it will cover individuals with convictions that occurred before the new law took effect.