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Employment rights post a gross misdemeanor conviction? Will my job offers get rescinded?

Seattle, WA |

3 years ago after graduating from a local university and getting hired at my first job I went out to celebrate all of the above at a post college football game party. Things got a little out of control and I ended up getting in a scuffle which a year later turned into a 4th degree assault conviction along with a trespass. Both under an alford plea as the alcohol played a big part in all of this. Since then I've excelled throughout my career and am looking to move into a new position at a different company. It's a publicly traded company so the background check will be in order. I'm pretty certain I'll receive a couple of offers post my interviews and have glowing references. What I'm trying to figure out is if I stand a chance at actually passing the background check or is there no hope?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    The previous poster is right that this is not as bad as it could be. However, my experience is that the candidate without a criminal record may be more likely to get the job all else being equal.

    You may be able to remove this from your record - called vacating the conviction. The rules regarding vacating a conviction are strict.

    You can not expunge a Washington misdemeanor if:
    * it has been less than three years since you completed the terms of your sentence;
    * you’ve ever had another record of conviction vacated;
    * it was a violent offense or an attempt to commit a violent offense;
    * it was a conviction for DUI/Physical Control or Operating a Railroad under the Influence;
    * it was a conviction or attempt to commit a crime of obscenity or pornography, sexual exploitation of children or a sex offense;
    * it was a crime of domestic violence if:
    * you didn’t provide proof of your application to vacate to the prosecutor or court;
    * you have a previous conviction for domestic violence;
    * you signed an affidavit stating you have no prior convictions of domestic violence but a criminal history check reveals such a conviction; or
    * you’ve been restrained within the last 5 years by a domestic violence protection order, a no-contact order, an antiharassment order or a civil restraining order that prevents one party from contacting the other.

    You must have completed all the terms of your sentence and probation more than three years ago. You may not qualify *yet* since it sounds like the incident took place 3 years ago.

    Best of luck!

    Please don't consider this free information to be legal advice. If you want legal advice, you should retain an attorney.


  2. Sure you have hope. Maybe some employers will immediately reject you, but many will be willing to overlook that incident. The big consideration here is that the incident did not involve a crime that involves dishonesty. You had a bit to drink and got in an altercation. Not good. But in my view, much better than having a record for theft or fraud.

    My response to this question is a response to a hypothetical situation based on limited facts. I am not your attorney; you are not my client and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. If you need a lawyer, you should contact one in your area. If you would like to talk with me about your case, you can call my office.

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