Can I Get Hired With State And Federal Felonies?

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William S.'s Comment
member avatar

So I have been working tremendously hard to fix my past mistakes by showing responsibility in time. I have held the same job since April of 2016 and have had the same landlord since September of 2016. December 24th,2014 was the last time I was arrested but I didn’t enter my guilty plea until November of 2015. All of my charges on my record are for selling drugs. My first felony (state felony) was in 2009 for possession with intent to deliver marijuana. I did one year of probation for that and stayed out of trouble for quite a while. Then in 2014 I got busted by the FBI for selling crystal meth (2 counts of distribution of methamphetamines federal offenses). Luckily the district of New Jersey along with a few other districts in the country adapted a federal drug court to try and help individuals avoid prison. So after a lot of time I got accepted into it and have been in it since 2016. I have finally been sentenced and got 4 years probation with over a year of it already done and it looks as though I will be released from probation sooner than my expected date. I really love my job but it’s a franchise and it doesn’t do enough business to make me feel comfortable that the job is going to last until I am able to retire plus there are no benefits or 401k options. It’s just get paid and go home. I make about 45k a year so it’s sustainable but I need to prepare for my future in the short and long term aspect. Would I have a chance at getting into a trucking company to drive?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar

It doesn't sound like you're disqualified from getting a CDL , but getting hired will be an uphill battle. The first thing you should do is apply to every company that offers CDL training. Be honest about everything on the application, but give them exactly what they're asking for. If they ask about convictions in the past 3 years don't include something from 2010. Go with the first yes you get and don't look back.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard William!

You've got a lot going on that's going to make it difficult. It's likely you'll need to wait a few years until you've completed probation. It's not impossible to get a trucking job while on probation, but typically very unlikely.

Once you've completed probation you need to apply to the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will be your best opportunity for success. The problem is that most of them are going to take felons on a case by case basis. I'll give you advance warning... distribution cases are really tough - the transportation business doesn't want the slightest chance of that liability on them.

You've got an uphill battle, but you know that already. One thing you want to do is make sure you have a few job offers in writing before paying money to a private truck driving school. If you pay the money and then can't get hired your license will go stale adding one more problem against you.

Are you free to travel out of state? How often do you have to "physically" report to your probation officer? If you can answer those questions for me, I may be able to offer some help.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
William S.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard William!

You've got a lot going on that's going to make it difficult. It's likely you'll need to wait a few years until you've completed probation. It's not impossible to get a trucking job while on probation, but typically very unlikely.

Once you've completed probation you need to apply to the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will be your best opportunity for success. The problem is that most of them are going to take felons on a case by case basis. I'll give you advance warning... distribution cases are really tough - the transportation business doesn't want the slightest chance of that liability on them.

You've got an uphill battle, but you know that already. One thing you want to do is make sure you have a few job offers in writing before paying money to a private truck driving school. If you pay the money and then can't get hired your license will go stale adding one more problem against you.

Are you free to travel out of state? How often do you have to "physically" report to your probation officer? If you can answer those questions for me, I may be able to offer some help.

Hey! Thanks for the responses. I greatly appreciate it!

To answer your questions:

Are you free to travel out of state?

Yes, the federal judge who presides over my case and my probation officer have both stated that they are fully okay with me traveling within the country. They have and have had many people become truck drivers and do the exact same thing that I am trying to do now.

How often do you have to "physically" report to your probation officer?

As far as physically reporting to them, that isn't an issue. There are a few reasons for that answer. One, I am on Federal probation so as long as I am within the united states, they will allow me to report to any federal courthouse in the country to see a probation officer and take a drug test. Second, they are not worried much about me as far as relapses or drinking. Those days are LONG behind me. I have built up a strong trusting relationship with my probation officer and the judge. Third, as I stated before, they have had people who have been on probation and in my situation who became truck drivers while still on probation and all the probation officers require is that they send them their logs every time they reach a weight station just to keep accountability.

If you can answer those questions for me, I may be able to offer some help.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
William S.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard William!

You've got a lot going on that's going to make it difficult. It's likely you'll need to wait a few years until you've completed probation. It's not impossible to get a trucking job while on probation, but typically very unlikely.

Once you've completed probation you need to apply to the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will be your best opportunity for success. The problem is that most of them are going to take felons on a case by case basis. I'll give you advance warning... distribution cases are really tough - the transportation business doesn't want the slightest chance of that liability on them.

You've got an uphill battle, but you know that already. One thing you want to do is make sure you have a few job offers in writing before paying money to a private truck driving school. If you pay the money and then can't get hired your license will go stale adding one more problem against you.

Are you free to travel out of state? How often do you have to "physically" report to your probation officer? If you can answer those questions for me, I may be able to offer some help.

Also, I am part of a state program called DVR ( Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) and they have relationships with a few schools here in New Jersey ( Smith and Solomon, Windsor, and Mr Driving School) all 3 of those schools, DVR completely covers the costs. So I have already spoken with all three schools and I chose Mr. Driving School because its small and personable. They charge 4000.00, at least that is the deal they have with DVR and its no out of pocket expenses to me.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
William S.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard William!

You've got a lot going on that's going to make it difficult. It's likely you'll need to wait a few years until you've completed probation. It's not impossible to get a trucking job while on probation, but typically very unlikely.

Once you've completed probation you need to apply to the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will be your best opportunity for success. The problem is that most of them are going to take felons on a case by case basis. I'll give you advance warning... distribution cases are really tough - the transportation business doesn't want the slightest chance of that liability on them.

You've got an uphill battle, but you know that already. One thing you want to do is make sure you have a few job offers in writing before paying money to a private truck driving school. If you pay the money and then can't get hired your license will go stale adding one more problem against you.

Are you free to travel out of state? How often do you have to "physically" report to your probation officer? If you can answer those questions for me, I may be able to offer some help.

I also thought that I should mention that I am not rushing into this decision to go for my CDL and become a driver. I want to give this a few months so that I have time to do research on the life of a driver, the expectations of a driver, and the pros and cons of the industry. I am spending most of the day today (first time off work since the second to last week off in August) reading the information this site has to offer. I found a link talking about surviving your first year as a rookie and it is VERY informative. I also like the discussion about the bad apples and the good apples that make up the reputation of the trucking world. Luckily, I am not a bad apple anymore. I have things to learn and that will probably never change but overall, I am a very big team player. I think my biggest issue with going into the industry is learning how to NOT let people take advantage of the kind of person I am. I am a tough cookie but at the same time, I like to see smiles on other peoples faces regardless of how it will affect me. So I am sure it will be a transition for a little while for me BUT I am resilient and I learn from my mistakes and others mistakes. I have also learned how to not hold grudges or complain about things. If you do me wrong, I forgive you the first time. If it happens again, I just simply cut you off. So as far as the information on this site about making money, I like the performance based model. I will work hard and I will definitely be the kind of driver that wants everyone to reap the benefits. So if I have to sacrifice a little pay to help someone else, I am all for it. I like that saying, what goes around comes around. I think it could be very useful ideology in this industry.

I will wait to hear from you and hopefully some other people over the next few days, weeks and in the meantime I am going to keep doing my due diligence before I just jump into something without having the information I need to succeed.

-Billy

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey William, I helped a couple different guys get hired at Western Express while on probation. The recruiter we worked with is no longer there, so I can't guarantee any results. What we did is get a letter from their probation officer (on the county's letterhead) stating that Mr. X was on probation until such and such time, but was allowed to cross state lines while working. It was a simple letter, maybe one paragraph, signed by the probation officer with a contact number. That, and the brief work history they had, got their foot in the door.

Best of luck to ya! Feel free to ask more questions. We will always do whatever we can to help. Some of these companies are a little less strict with their requirements. Western Express is one of the more lenient ones. I started my career there so I can tell you I had a great experience there. They kept me extremely busy.

William S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey sorry for not responding in a while. Yes my Federal Probation officer and the Federal Judges overseeing my case are extremely happy to hear that I want to get my CDL and be on OTR driver. My current probation officer said that she has had a few cases that she was in charge of that were OTR drivers and what she made them do was send her their logs at every weigh station. The great thing about federal probation is that I can go take a random drug test anywhere in the country if my probation officer wants me to take one, plus the industry requires drug tests as well. I already have my CDL School tuition paid for. The whole 5k is being covered by the state of New Jerseys DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabiliation) program. I am planning on starting school the end of May. I want to finish getting the rest of my credit card debt paid off and such before I commit to the school because I typically work about 65 hours a week at my current job. When I start school I will have to cut back to about 40 hours a week so that I can attend CDL school at night and on the weekends. With that being said, its going to significantly reduce my monthly income so I want to make sure that I can afford my monthly bills and not have to worry about credit card payments and stuff. Plus I need to train someone else to take over my position once I do get my CDL. I have been at this job now for 4 years and I don't want to leave that burden on my boss.

Hey William, I helped a couple different guys get hired at Western Express while on probation. The recruiter we worked with is no longer there, so I can't guarantee any results. What we did is get a letter from their probation officer (on the county's letterhead) stating that Mr. X was on probation until such and such time, but was allowed to cross state lines while working. It was a simple letter, maybe one paragraph, signed by the probation officer with a contact number. That, and the brief work history they had, got their foot in the door.

Best of luck to ya! Feel free to ask more questions. We will always do whatever we can to help. Some of these companies are a little less strict with their requirements. Western Express is one of the more lenient ones. I started my career there so I can tell you I had a great experience there. They kept me extremely busy.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

William S.'s Comment
member avatar

I also thought I should mention, I would like to speak to you further about what positions you might be able to assist me with. I know nothing is for sure but any support would be greatly appreciated. I also have a friend who is in the court program I am in that is a mechanic for 18 wheelers in NY and he said he can get me into a company easily. I am planning on moving to NC/SC in 2022 once my probation is completed (if I don't get released sooner which is a very strong possibility.) But I would like to maintain driving for whatever company I end up driving for up here. I don't know how that works or if that is even possible but it is something I want to look into. The cost of living in NJ is ridiculous and the politics here in this state are just getting out of control so I want out.

Hey William, I helped a couple different guys get hired at Western Express while on probation. The recruiter we worked with is no longer there, so I can't guarantee any results. What we did is get a letter from their probation officer (on the county's letterhead) stating that Mr. X was on probation until such and such time, but was allowed to cross state lines while working. It was a simple letter, maybe one paragraph, signed by the probation officer with a contact number. That, and the brief work history they had, got their foot in the door.

Best of luck to ya! Feel free to ask more questions. We will always do whatever we can to help. Some of these companies are a little less strict with their requirements. Western Express is one of the more lenient ones. I started my career there so I can tell you I had a great experience there. They kept me extremely busy.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

First off I want to congratulate you on getting things turned around and not allowing your record to define who you are, or allow it to have a negative impact on your dreams. Please keep us updated on how things go so we can better help those in a similar situation in the future. We typically recommend people with some past issues check out Western Express, Carolina Cargo and CR England as they seem to be more lenient in hiring requirements. They do start out at a lower CPM but you can move up the payscale if you prove yourself to be a safe, efficient driver. Before the end of school you should apply everywhere and see if anybody offers you a spot. Dont be discouraged if you hear a lot of "no", somebody is likely to give you a chance. After a year of safe driving experience you'll find some companies that turned you down will be more than happy to hire you.good-luck.gif

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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