Other Ways to “Ban the Box”
President Obama was in the national spotlight this week after announcing he was directing federal agencies to “ban the box.” The “box” he was referencing was the box found on most employment applications – including those forms used by the federal government – is the box checked by individuals who have certain prior criminal convictions. President Obama indicated the move is an attempt to give individuals with a prior conviction for a nonviolent offense a better opportunity to obtain employment after they have completed their sentence. Statistics show that applicants for jobs who have a prior criminal record are significantly less likely to be interviewed for a job than those applicants without a criminal record. Statistics further show that African Americans with criminal records are especially likely to be looked over for an open position for which they applied.
Achieving the Same End Goal Without Needing a Ban on the Box
For those with criminal records, the president’s executive action is likely very welcome news. But most (perhaps all?) would agree that it would be far better to not need to rely on the president’s actions to obtain a job because one does not have a criminal record. Is this possible? With an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney, the answer is yes:
- Seal and/or Expunge: If you have been convicted of certain offenses, you may be eligible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. When your record is expunged, a potential employer is informed that you have had criminal information expunged from your criminal record. An employer would need to obtain a court order in order to see the actual expunged information. If your record is sealed, employers and other members of the public will not have access to the record at all (although some government entities would have access).
- Successful Appeal: If you proceed to trial and are convicted, you may have a right to appeal your case to an appellate court. If the trial court misapplied the law or if other gross violations of your constitutional or statutory rights occurred, the appellate court may reverse your conviction and require that your case be retried. In some cases, an appellate court’s ruling includes instructions for the retrial that makes it impossible for the prosecution to prove its case.
- Acquittal at Trial: A dedicated and zealous criminal defense attorney is able to hold the prosecution to its burden of proof at trial and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows that it is his or her job to create “reasonable doubt” in the minds of jurors and (depending on the case) provide the jury with an alternative narrative to explain the events.
A Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Miami criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner is committed to helping clients avoid criminal convictions that can negatively impact their lives for years through aggressive legal representation. Contact his office at (305) 670-9919 to schedule your free consultation and learn how the legal counsel of a talented criminal defense attorney can make in your criminal case.