“Innocent until proven guilty” is one of the most commonly misunderstood phrases in the law. It is true that the government must prove to a judge or jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused committed a crime (or plead guilty to a crime) before being found guilty and until that happens there is a presumption of innocence. But “innocent until proven guilty” does not necessarily apply to the rest of society, including friends, family, the media, and employers. Society can not imprison the accused, but it can damage reputations, relationships, and employment status. A pending felony charge can affect your employment and employment prospects, even before being declared guilty.
California employment law provides some protections for applicants previously arrested and/or charged with a crime. If you were previously arrested and charged with a crime but found to be innocent or had the charges dropped, you cannot be asked about that event by a current or prospective employer. The employer also cannot seek that information from other sources or use any knowledge of the incident to determine whether to hire or fire you.
Pending criminal charges, however, are not subject to that protection. If you are facing criminal charges, be they misdemeanor or felony, your current or prospective employer can ask you about those charges. They can also use that information to make employment decisions. If your current or potential employer discovers you are facing criminal charges, they can legally decide to fire you, not hire you, or take other measures. This is the case even if you are innocent of the charges and eventually cleared by a court of law.
The best action to take if you are facing a pending felony charge is to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense law firm. Your career can hang in the balance after being charged with a crime. A criminal defense attorney can take decisive action on your behalf to fight the charges against you and protect your freedom and career. Concluding pending charges against you can help you pursue employment opportunities. Our attorneys can take quick actions to pursue a not guilty verdict or dismissal of the charges against you.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth assists defendants charged with a crime protect their legal rights and helps them get back to a normal life as quickly as possible. We offer free criminal defense consultations, so call us today at 888-517-9888.