As spring winds down, college students in New Hampshire—whether at the University of New Hampshire or at one of the other fine schools in the state—are about to enter the working world throughout the region. Some students can have an uphill battle if they have been convicted of a crime while in college or even during high school. This is because, unbeknownst to many, there are collateral consequences of a criminal conviction that go beyond the penalties provided in state laws.
The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
When people think of the penalties that come with a criminal conviction, they often think of the penalties doled out by the state, like fines, jail time, or probation.
However, there is a whole different category of penalties that come with a conviction—collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are doled out by people or companies that are not a part of the state, and can be equally debilitating.
One of the most important collateral consequences of having a conviction on your criminal record is the added difficulty in finding a job.
Getting a Job with a Criminal Record
When you apply for a job in New Hampshire, one of the things that you can count on is a request to perform a background criminal check or a box on the job application that asks whether you have been convicted of a crime in the past.
In some cases, this seems reasonable. Trucking companies, for example, should know whether an applicant has a long history of driving under the influence (DUI), while banks should know if an applicant for a teller position was once convicted of embezzling funds.
However, there are countless other jobs that seem to use a past conviction merely as a way to screen out potential applicants. This puts many people with serious criminal convictions in their deep past into a tricky position: lie on the application and risk being exposed during the background check, or admit to the past conviction on the application and face the likelihood of never getting an interview.
New Hampshire’s Response: Nothing
Many states have recognized this problem and have taken steps to ensure people with a criminal history are not automatically overlooked for the jobs they need to make ends meet. Called the “Ban the Box Movement” after the typical format of the question on a job application, around a dozen states in the U.S. do not allow applications for public jobs to ask about an applicant’s criminal history. A small handful of states also prohibit the question from being asked on applications for jobs in the private sector as well.
Unfortunately, while other nearby states like Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont have all passed legislation to “ban the box,” New Hampshire has not. This makes it far more difficult for people who have been convicted of a crime, and who have already paid the penalties for their conviction, from getting a job.
Tenn And Tenn, P.A.: Criminal Defense Attorneys in New Hampshire
The criminal defense attorneys at the Manchester law office of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. represent clients who have been charged with a crime in New Hampshire. Contact us online or call us at (888) 511-1010.