Not Sure You Have A Criminal Record?


Maybe you do and maybe you don’t. It’s the, ‘not knowing one way or the other’, that’s undermining your confidence when your sitting in some job interview and you’re asked about whether your bondable or not. It’s at this moment; this precise moment that you can feel the job opportunity slipping away.

Yep, it was your momentary pause, that look you instinctively had come over your face that indicated you hid something. That indecisive moment when you weighed telling the truth and risking the job versus lying outright and hoping it would die right there and never be an issue moving forward. You remember that moment clearly. Why? Because that moment gets repeated each and every time you’re in an interview. It’s like a cloud hanging over your head, always present and always threatening to pour down on you at any moment and when it does, all your hopes and aspirations are washed away.

Too many times you’ve heard them say, “Gee, that’s unfortunate. I’d love to hire you but I’m prevented from doing so because of our policies. When you clear things up, get back to me.” Real nice of them to let you down easy; nice to know you performed well enough in the process to get to the final stage too, but in the end, the same result.

Hang on a moment. You say you aren’t actually sure whether you have a criminal record or not? So my question is why aren’t you taking steps – no wait, let me amend that question…why haven’t you taken steps to find out? Maybe it’s because you haven’t got the $25 – $40 to pay for your criminal record check and find out? Somehow I doubt that amount of money is at the core of why you haven’t had this done yet.

No, I suspect the real reason behind your lack of action is that not knowing for sure looks somewhat better to you than finding out that yes you do in fact have a criminal record. Even just walking into the police station to get the process completed may be so intimidating, you can’t get yourself in there to get it done.

So what was it? Something you did as a juvenile 15 years ago? Some mischief charge? A minor offence perhaps and one your not even convinced you were found guilty of because it was so long ago? Was it a warning or wasn’t it? Here’s the thing my friend. If you’re experiencing lost opportunities, stress, anxiety, shame, frustration – any of these, you’re still paying the price for whatever you did so long ago. $25 or $45 seems pretty insignificant in comparison to the price you’ve paid – and continue to pay.

Let’s look at the best case scenario first. You get up the determination to find out one way or the other and you walk into the police station and tell them you want a criminal record check. Getting same day service, you leave with a piece of paper stating nothing came up. Not only is that piece of paper clean, so is your conscious. No record. Suddenly the past anxiety on how to answer any questions about your past is gone. One job search barrier removed.

Okay now to the news that yes, something came up. First of all, what came up? Sure any conviction in the past isn’t good news but come on, there are some offences which are much more serious than others. If you wrapped toilet paper around someone’s house and in a drunken state peed all over their prize petunias in your teens, you might have that mischief charge to deal with now as a 35 year old. Seems to me that’s a lot different and less of an issue than assault with a dangerous weapon and uttering a death threat or stealing someone’s car and getting a driving under the influence to go along with it.

Hey at least you know now. So when that question comes up, you can opt to tell the truth and hope that the past 17 years as an adult with no further interaction with the justice system works in your favour. And while it’s more costly, get going on making some regular payments into obtaining your pardon. Might not be cheap, but it sure is a lot less than the salary you’re NOT getting every couple of weeks because your still unemployed due to that charge.

While the amount to get a pardon might seem high – say $1000.00 just to use a number, look at it this way. In 3 years, you’ll either be 3 years older with a criminal record or 3 years older without one. Which do you choose? Right. Move to the front of the class. And it might not take 3 years anyhow.

Steps to take:

  1.  Get a criminal record check done. Do it today or tomorrow. Find out.
  2.  No record? Great.
  3.  Record? Get the facts on your pardon process.
  4.  Start making financial contributions to your pardon. Make this a priority.
  5.  Got a record? Get professional help with an interview answer.

By the way, your answer to the, ‘are you bondable?’ question is yes. You’re insurable, (what bondable means), so don’t volunteer your conviction – that wasn’t the question asked. Interviewers hope you don’t know the difference between conviction and bondable and therefore voluntarily offer up your record.

While you might have messed up in your youth, don’t mess up as an adult. Get working on that pardon.

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