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Does a no contest plea impact a job application?

You know that having a criminal record can become a huge deal when filling out job applications. Some employers will ask about your record and you need to be honest. However, if they see that you did time, they may refuse to hire you.

So, as you face charges, you are thinking about entering a "no contest" plea. You know that you'll still face legal ramifications. In many ways, this is similar -- though not the same -- to entering a guilty plea. But you think it may help when you get out and start looking for a new job. Will it?

It may. It depends on what your employer asks you on the application.

If the application asks if you were ever convicted, you have no choice but to say yes. When you plead "no contest," that's still a criminal conviction. You still get a sentence.

If it asks if you ever pleaded guilty, that's when you can honestly say no. You did not. You used the no contest plea instead. It's not a lie to say you never entered a guilty plea, even though you were convicted. It just depends how the question is phrased.

One thing to remember, though, is that the no contest plea still shows up as a conviction on a background check. If your employer is going to run one, you can't hide this.

It's important to consider things like this when deciding how you want to proceed in court. Make sure you know all of your options and the potential impact they each could have on your future.

Source: FindLaw, "'No Contest' and Job Applications: What to Do?," Brett Snider, accessed March 07, 2018

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