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Georgia first offender-felony theft-white collar employment

Atlanta, GA |

I am one month away from finishing up my first offender probation for felony theft . I am going back to school in the fall and was wondering if I would ultimately be able to find professional ( ie white collar / office ) employment since I don't technically have a felony conviction . 1 . Will employer see this on a background check once discharge has been entered ? 2 . Are there any careers / majors i should focus on ? Steer clear of ? 3 . Would I be better off seeking employment in Georgia or outside of the state ? Any advice is much appreciated .

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Attorney answers 4


Oddly enough, in my experience and observations, the best employer under these cuircumstances is the State of Georgia. Its agencies are bound by statute to not count the matter as a conviction. Thus, the only way that the State agancy / employer can actually use it against you is if you fail to tell them about it when asked.... like on an application.

Good luck.

Thanks for reading my response to this question. If your found this answer "Helpful" or "The Best Answer" PLEASE MARK IT, because Avvo awards points. Thank you! Note that the questioner and any reader do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.


It is a difficult question to answer because the information concerning your arrest and subsequent prosecution is available from other means than just a GBI records check. The record check by an employer through the GBI will not reveal a successful first offender case. However an internet and or background check conducted by a non-government agency will reveal your mugshot, court records, sentence, and details of your case. Google your name and criminal record and see what you find out. In any job application with a governmental agency be sure to answer the questions truthfully otherwise you may face further prosecution for false statements.


The First Offender disposition won't count as a conviction obviously but many employers have begun to ask questions relating to First Offender dispositions. As mentioned above, your mugshot and media information are likely still available on the internet, not to mention the court records are public documents. First Offender will prevent a conviction but won't "make it like it never happen". Being honest and upfront about it will be the best course of action as it is likely an employer could research your background in other ways than a criminal history search.

The above is general information and not intended to be legal advice.


I agree with all of the answers previously given, but also don't want you to lose hope that you can continue on with a successful career despite your first offender sentence. The point of the previous answers was to prepare you for what you might encounter. There surely is no guarantee that an employer won't see it on a background check. You therefore should read any employment application carefully so that you can answer truthfully. Have you ever been convicted? No. If that's all it asks, you don't have to say any more. If it asks, "Have you ever been arrested or charged or pleaded guilty?" you would have to answer that affirmatively. You would then want to follow that up with an explanation that you did not receive a conviction for this offense, and you may want an attorney to help craft your response with a letter or something.

Overall, you may run into problems in the financial sector. When you are dealing with people's money, people are very hesitant to give you the benefit of the doubt. Other than that...just reach for the stars! Be good at what you do, work hard, and you shouldn't have too much trouble finding the type of career that you want. You may have some hurdles...but you don't have a criminal conviction! Good luck to you.

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