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I was charged with petty theft and would like to try and become a police officer, does it hurt my chances?

Fremont, CA |

I was 20 when I was charged with petty theft I'm 30 now. Also have had other run in with the law minor in position of alcohol nothing major like drugs.

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Attorney answers 3


All things being equal someone with a clean criminal record will have a better chance of getting hired over someone that has convictions in the past. That being said it is not an absolute bar from getting the job it will just make things more difficult. The longer in time it has been the better your chances. You can explain it was a different you 10 years ago. You must disclose this information.
Robert Driessen

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at


Although a misdemeanor charge doesn't automatically disqualify you from becoming an officer, you may have issues with passing a background. Every department has somebody in their recruiting division - I'd suggest you make an appointment and go in and talk to the person in the department you would want to apply to.

The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.


It does not help. But this is like describing the effects of chicken soup. Try it, it can not hurt.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.