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IMPORTANT QUESTION Criminal Background Check in Job Employment

  1. Oct 15, 2004 #1
    IMPORTANT QUESTION!! Criminal Background Check in Job Employment

    I wasn't sure where to post this but I have some important questions. In America, many states have a law where anyone over the age of 18 cannot have any sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18. Even if it's a 1 day difference. Anyways, when I was 18, I was charged with statutory rape for being with my at then 16 year old girlfriend. I served a 6 month sentence and now am a registered sex offender. :frown:

    I'm currently a biology major undergrad. I'm wondering when I do try for employment in the future, how often will they search my criminal background? How much would it effect my ability to obtain a science related job? Would it even be possible for me to obtain a job in the science field with the criminal record I have now or am I basically f**ked for life. Please be honest as possible. Any advice I will appreciate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2004
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  3. Oct 15, 2004 #2

    Janus

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    It depends on the employer and likely the state you live in. In Oregon, for example, in order to work in the K-12 school system, you must undergo a background check. Your particular offense would result in a automatic no-hire. Other types of employers may have no background check at all.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2004 #3

    Moonbear

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    Honestly, I don't know how many employers do background checks, but most do ask if you have any felony record. I don't think you're entirely "screwed" as you put it, but you may have more trouble than most, and probably should expect to explain yourself. In some states, if there's only a 2 yr age difference, statutory rape doesn't apply, so you might have your best chances looking for jobs in those states because they may be more willing to overlook your record when they see your conviction isn't even consistent with their own state laws.

    I won't go into my rant about the laws labeling people as sex offenders, other than to say if someone is still dangerous, they belong still in prison, and if they are not a threat, then they've served their time and shouldn't be branded for life with a scarlet letter.

    (P.S.- don't be surprised if this thread is moved...I don't think this is the right forum for it, but they'll put it where it belongs).
     
  5. Oct 15, 2004 #4
    This incident has completely set me back. The lost of 6 months is the least of my problem. Registration as a sex offender is like a life sentence. I never thought I would ever see the inside of a jail cell as I'm the most law abiding person you'll ever meet. That arrest came as a complete shock to me and I was totally bewildered.

    Before this incident, I was planning on pursing a doctoral. But now I'm not sure. I do not want to spend several more years dedicated to a career in a field that I wouldn't even be able to obtain an occupation in. I need to know that I can still have a science career if I spend these years obtaining these degrees. Should I still pursue a doctoral degree? Or is it now a waste of time.

    Also on job applications where it asks if I have a criminal record, should I write yes? Is it possible to get away with writing no?
     
  6. Oct 15, 2004 #5

    hypnagogue

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    Sometimes if you're asked about a criminal history, you are asked to explain the nature of the offense. That should give you a chance to clean your name to some extent.

    Honestly, it's a crime that you were ever charged for anything in the first place. I'm sorry for you. I don't think that your record will hold you back very much from your desired path so long as you get the opportunity to explain how it happened to your prospective school or employer, either in writing or with an interview. Good luck to you.
     
  7. Oct 15, 2004 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Don't try to work in either the medical or defense industry. The defense will require a background check and a security clearance, neither of which you will get thru. The medical in requires background checks also, a doctor cannot prescribe drugs if he has a felony background, he cannot get a Drug Enforcement Agency License.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2004 #7

    Bystander

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    Can't say I've got a whole lot of sympathy for you --- that said, there are mechanisms for "expunging" records (short of burning repositories). The state in which the charge and conviction are recorded determines whether it's a possibility in your case. Don't hold your breath re. such a possibility if you've not reached some sort of civilized accommodation with the plaintiffs in the case --- they're going to have a boatload to say in any proceeding to have your record expunged if the state in question does provide for such actions.

    I don't agree with the principle of "sealing" or "expunging" court records, or of pardoning offenses (you could write the governor --- that's long odds in such a case), but you asked, and you evidently didn't have a lawyer worth the powder to blow back to where lawyers grow, so, the magic words are in the quotation marks.
     
  9. Oct 17, 2004 #8

    Les Sleeth

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    Why would that be? Are you heartless? A moralist? Sexually paranoid? Grrrrrrrrrr. . .

    Do you remember being 18 years old, and trying to deal with hormones and girls? Are 18 year olds equipped to think properly under that influence, and in this society where girls a lot younger than 16 are sexually active? It was decades ago for me, but I still remember being an 18 year old boy and how I couldn't see any difference between my age group and that of a 16 year old girl. In fact, they were just about the right maturity for where I was then.

    I would have expected more at a science site where we should know that it is a law with virtually no understanding of human sexual and emotional development. It likely derives from moronic religious morality about sex.

    Besides all that, why say "no sympathy" to SeekDestroy, someone obviously deeply distraught? How do we know he isn't suicidal? Why not buy a knife, stick him with it, and then twist it around a few times. Geez, the guy is really worried and the best we can offer is "no sympathy" (implying he's been "bad" and deserves the hell he's faced and may face).

    Sorry for the outburst, but I don't understand the "no sympathy" attitude at all unless there is reason to suspect the boy was a malicious predator.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2004
  10. Oct 17, 2004 #9

    Hurkyl

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    He offered quite a bit more than "no sympathy".
     
  11. Oct 17, 2004 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    If, after my prior post's emotional outburst, I have any credibility with you at all, then I have a wild suggestion.

    Consider writing a book about your experience. Do your homework, get the facts straight, outline the details, and write what happened to you and anyone else who was negatively affected by all this. It is the kind of story that attracts TV movies or even mainstream movies, and also a lot of readers who want to hear about injustice. You might even consider contacting a publisher first and tell him your story. They might help.

    Don't shrink into the shadows if you weren't a predator in all this. If your feelings were genuine, and if at the time you you didn't feel like what you were doing was wrong, then come out strong. Don't be ashamed . . . be mad and let people know about it.

    That's one man's opinion. :smile:
     
  12. Oct 17, 2004 #11

    Les Sleeth

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    I guess I don't see it. After his opening statement, his practical advice sounds like what is said to criminal who must learn how to deal with his evil past. Is that what we recommend to someone who has suffered an injustice?
     
  13. Oct 17, 2004 #12

    Dr Transport

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    Absolutely, pay your debts to society. If the debt includes a criminal record for the rest of your life, your the one who chose to break the law, you have to live with it.
     
  14. Oct 17, 2004 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    Okay then. If you are Black, Jewish or female in my society where I have the power to decide how things will be, and I want you to keep your genetically inferior mouth shut, then when you open it and I shoot you . . . live with it. Is that your proposition? Might makes right, is that it? Or, alternatively, be the sheep.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2004
  15. Oct 18, 2004 #14

    Bystander

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    "expunge" --- to delete, obliterate, strike out.

    Tell ya what, sport --- read the post, then have your "dial-an-excuse" social worker's tizzy. Eighteen is an established age at which social, cultural, and legal expectations of responsible behavior have been set. Get over it.

    Physical maturity in humans occurs at anything between 10 and 20 years of age. Social, psychological, or emotional maturity is observable from the age of 4 or 5 to never. You want a blood test? Hold your breath, and I'll get right on it.
     
  16. Oct 18, 2004 #15
    I don't need your sympathy.

    While in other states, records may be fully erasable to the public, in my state it is not. Not even charges that are dismissed are erasable. Meaning a person that has been wrongly accused for a crime and found not guilty of that crime, will still have a record to haunt him for the rest of his life.
     
  17. Oct 18, 2004 #16
    I've found that while the majority of people feel such a charge like this is BS, that none seem willing to act on it or make an effort to change it. From my understanding such a scenario like this can happen in only a small handful of states as most states have the age of consent at 16 with a 3 or 5 year minimum age difference. Unfortunetely for me, I am in the state I am.
     
  18. Oct 18, 2004 #17
    Of course, of course. Rosa Parks broke the law by trying to sit on the front of the bus. She should have that record stain her for the rest of her life and have future occupations prevented from obtaining.

    This may surprise you but there are quite a lot of weird laws. There are a lot of laws. Laws you never fathomed existed. Now there is no way I will believe you or anyone has not broken a single law in their life. Go to www.dumblaws.com you will see the kind of laws that still exist today. For example a lot of states have a law preventing you from working on Sunday. Some states still have oral sex illegal. Perhaps after you get charged with a law that defies common sense you'll start to understand.
     
  19. Oct 18, 2004 #18
    What does this have to do with anything?
     
  20. Oct 18, 2004 #19

    Chi Meson

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    This is a bad situation where you were caught in the hooks that were meant for someone else. As someone already noted, in most states you are automatically inelligible for public education. IF you have your sights set on teaching, there is still the private sector.

    Being forward with the charge is always the best policy. If it was as "innocent" as "I had consentual sex with my girlfriend before she was 18," people can understand that. I don't know if an affidavit from your (former?) girlfriend (once she is 18) would be legal or permissible, but a few words in defense from your so-called victim could make the difference in an application.

    Again, this is legal speculation; check with a lawyer.
     
  21. Oct 18, 2004 #20

    Les Sleeth

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    I did read the post, and what I saw then is exactly the same Big Brother kowtowing you are demonstrating again, seemingly buying social standards carte blanche. Do you think the current laws and social standards came about in a day, or have they been fought out over centuries of struggle, and against oppression, ignorance and cruelty. If you were born in Roman times, would you head off for the Sunday "games" with the rest of the bloodthirsty, and tell me to "get over it" if I complained about the brutality being exhibited?

    Humanity has not automatically understood how to treat other humans. What do you think, we are done now, we've got it all figured out?


    It seems you are contradicting yourself. According to your analysis, a 16 year old could be mature enough to have sex, and an 18 year old might not be. How do we know the mature 16 year old didn't seduce the naive 18 year old? Maybe we should have put his girlfriend in jail! I know someone, now a woman, who started having sex at 11 with a slightly younger boy. She claimes it was their decision, so were they mature enough? If people mature at different ages, then how can a law that sets the age at 18 be anything but arbitrary.

    The statuatory rape law was designed to protect the inexperienced from being manipulated by the experienced. But it doesn't make sense when applied to two inexperienced people! We are talking specifically about charging an 18 year old with rape who is having consensual sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. Rape? Is that what it was? Or was it, at most, ill-advised sex? If we want teenagers to stop having sex, is this really the best way to do it, and is it fair given all the sex kids are exposed to in our society?

    In one of the Scandinavian countries (Norway?), they give kids protection at about 12 or 13, and allow them to have sex if they want. The documentary I saw showed happy, healthy children. Personally I don't think that's the best idea, but it does give us a clue about why we are so willing to call consensual teenage sex rape. In the US, we are uptight about sex. It has been shamed from the first Puritans who brought the attitude, and we still carry that stupid conditioning around with us. And another stupid attitude, punish every damn thing we want stopped, is behind sending kids to prison. It's just blind, ignorant, Biblically authoritarian coersion training, without understanding all the biological and social forces behind adolescent drives and behaviors.

    Apparently your concept is that we should "get over" that ignorance in our legal system. The law is the law, right? OBEY, that's the priority, right? Don't question, blindly follow, go along, accept authority . . . Maybe you just don't care, which is your priviledge, but it's too bad you had to let it show at a public forum.
     
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