The Importance of Protecting Your Career from a Drug Conviction16 Jun 2018, by Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes in
Written by Timothy Czekaj
When facing drug charges, it can be difficult to consider all of the consequences of a conviction. Understandably, you may concentrate on potential incarceration or the costs of the legal process. It is also important to consider the collateral consequences of a drug charge, even one as minor as marijuana possession. A misdemeanor or felony drug conviction in Pennsylvania could have a significant impact on career. If you have been charged with a drug offense, you need to contact an experienced and aggressive drug crime lawyer right away.
Losing Your Job
One of the worst-case scenarios that can occur after a drug conviction is losing your job. This is particularly true if you are sentenced to a term of incarceration. In almost all cases, your employer is not responsible for maintaining your position for you. By the time you are released from jail or prison, another person may have been hired in your place.
Even if you not incarcerated, a drug conviction could still lead to your dismissal. If you are an at-will employee in your state, your conviction or the conduct related to it may be used to demonstrate that you are not a responsible or trustworthy worker. If you have an employment contract, being convicted of a drug crime may satisfy the requirement that you only be let go with cause, especially if there is evidence you were impaired by drugs while at work.
Difficulty Obtaining a Job
A drug conviction can also make it hard to find a new job. In Pennsylvania, there are some protections in place regarding finding employment when you have a criminal record, including the Criminal History Record Information Act. During the hiring process, employers can only take into consideration how your conviction relates to your suitability for the job. If the drug crime is not connected to your capabilities and performance, then it should not be used as a factor in granting or denying you a position.
Unfortunately, despite this legal protection, many employers take a conviction into consideration right away. When you disclose a drug conviction on an application, it can immediately take you out of the running for a job, whether it should or not.
Ineligibility or Loss of Professional License
If you are part of a profession that requires a license, such as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or lawyer, then a drug conviction may impact your license. Drug offenses are carefully reviewed when there is any concern that your drug use could impact your patients or clients. The conviction could lead to disciplinary measures, the suspension of your license for a period of time, or the permanent revocation of your license.
If you are in school and hoping to gain a certain professional license, a drug conviction will likely create a significant hurdle. The governing body of the profession will scrutinize your record before determining you are a suitable candidate for the profession.
Diminished Professional Reputation
After a drug conviction, it is difficult – but still possible – for you to find employment and continue to pursue your chosen career. Unfortunately, the conviction could still have harmed your reputation. This, in turn, may reduce your opportunities. You may be passed over for mentorships, training opportunities, and promotions if your supervisors are aware of the conviction.
Get Help Protecting Your Career From a Drug Conviction
If you are facing drug charges, call Czekaj Law, LLC right away. One of our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the charges against you. We will review and analyze the evidence to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. With this information, we will determine the strongest defenses available to you and the best way to present your defense in court. We may argue:
- You did not possess the drugs.
- Your constitutional rights were violated during an arrest or investigation.
- The arresting officer is not a credible witness.
- Certain evidence is inadmissible.
- You lacked the intent to commit the crime.
- There has been a mistake of identity.
- The prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof.