Working With A Felony - Expungement And Record Sealing Laws May Have Changed

Topic 33275 | Page 1

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Scott's Comment
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Hello All,

If you have felonies or misdemeanors be sure to check the current laws in your state. Ohio just passed Senate Bill 288 (in April 2023) and it made substantial changes to expungement and record sealing laws in Ohio. I just happened to stumble across it online and if you have a similar issue then make sure to check current laws in your state in case things may have changed for the better. I went to the local Public Defenders Office and they are processing my request. Good Luck!

Old School's Comment
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Hey Scott, you need to be really careful about not revealing a felony conviction. Expungement means very little in the trucking industry. The trucking companies do a much more thorough background check than most employers. I can't even tell you how many times I've personally witnessed people being sent home from orientation because they didn't reveal their expunged felony convictions.

The trucking companies will find it. You can make the decision to leave it off your application, but I am certain you'll regret that decision. Once they have to ask you why you kept it from them, they won't care what your answer is. You're already finished at that point.

It's in your best interest to find a company that will hire you knowing about your felony. That's the solid truth. I hope you can handle it. There are plenty of folks with felony convictions driving trucks. It's not an insurmountable issue. It just means extra work and diligence on your part.

Get yourself into this industry honestly. It's the best way. I've got a list longer than both your arms of companies that rejected me as a rookie. I stayed resilient and persevered. Today I can write my own ticket to any trucking job I want. Once you get in you can develop your own value. That value wipes away all the prejudices that were previously held against you.


Operating While Intoxicated

Ryan B.'s Comment
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Laws governing what employers are allowed to ask on an application vary state-by-state. If in doubt, consult with an attorney who has experience with labor laws in the state of residence. Never take legal advice from anyone not licensed to practice law, and even then, be sure the person has experience in the area of law in question.

This issue of disclosing background issues is highly nuanced because the state laws written to govern what can be asked on an application are all worded differently. Let an experienced labor attorney in the state where a person resides tell you what you need to disclose to be within the law.

PackRat's Comment
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Every single driving application I have filled out has had these two questions:

Have you EVER been convicted of a misdemeanor?

Have you EVER been convicted of a felony?

There is no getting around this. You either answer honestly, or you lie on the application. Either way, it will come out during the company investigation, or during their underwriting insurance company's investigation. As Old School pointed out, the background checks are very thorough.

I have attended many company orientations and seen several applicants dissappear after lunch on the first day or just after roll call on the second day. "What happened to so-and-so?" Something was found when they ran the background is the predominant answer from the staff. Do not attempt to enter this career field the wrong way because it will follow you.


Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Ryan B.'s Comment
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Some applications will ask if you have ever been arrested. Some ask have you been arrested or convicted going back a certain number of years. Ehat can legally be asked and what is required to be disclosed varies by state. Some states bar employers from requiring applicants to disclose expunged records. Some states only allow employers to adk about convictions and not arrests that don't result in a conviction.

Consult with an attorney on legal matters. It typically costs less than a $100 to be given a consultation. There is no harm in getting the most accurate information about a legal matter directly from an attorney.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Sigh....there is the letter of the law and there is practicality. Reality often doesn't necessarily follow what a lawyer says.

There are plenty of things in life that armchair quarterbacks say "They can't do that" about. This is one of them.

As OS and PackRat said, this industry has very exhaustive background checks. Why potentially kill your career before it even starts by lying on an application?

From a risk reward position, it's very illogical to gamble on it. Lots of risk, no real potential value to obscuring information.

A beautiful thing about this industry is that your performance dictates your success, almost exclusively. Once you are established as a quality driver and your record backs that up, you can have every opportunity to succeed as much as a non felon, your past is irrelevant, what matters is your how you conduct yourself as a professional driver.

Ryan B.'s Comment
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Get legal advice from lawyers, not truckers.

PackRat's Comment
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Get legal advice from lawyers, not truckers.

Answer the questions honestly. Tell the truth. Lawyer not required.

Scott's Comment
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All I said was that criminal records may have gotten easier to expunge. I didn't say to not reveal your previous criminal history or that expungement was a license to lie on an application. I recently disclosed my criminal past to a recruiter and told him I was looking into having that record expunged, he told me to call back when that is done (sometimes an expungement makes a difference). Disclosing a criminal past that was expunged shows that the court decided that you were otherwise an upstanding citizen and deserved the expungement.

I simply posted this subject because I thought it might help people in the same predicament.

My only legal advice is: Don't blindly trust the advice of an attorney, they don't work for you, they only work for themselves (you may quote me on that).

Banks's Comment
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It's just better to be honest. I work with a bunch of people with felony records and they've also been trained by FedEx.

If you want to pay a lawyer to advise you, go for it just know that it's a gray area because multiple state laws can be in play. Also, if they choose not to hire you anyway it's lost money because that lawyer isn't going up against those pockets.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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