If you have been arrested in Arizona you will no doubt have many questions about the long-term effects of the arrest. Regardless of whether or not you are ultimately convicted of an offense or how serious the offense is, a criminal arrest may still haunt you. For example, when you are applying for a new job, a potential employer can ask about criminal history and conduct a thorough background check. Will the arrest show up? Will it be able to prevent you from getting a job?
The answers to these questions are not necessarily straightforward. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers can ask you directly if you have ever been arrested or convicted of crimes. They can run background reports that provide both arrest and conviction information. However, what they cannot do is discriminate against you based upon this information. There are specific actions that would violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act and be considered discrimination. For example, imagine you and another candidate have applied for the same job and both of you have previously been arrested for drunk driving. If you are of minority descent but the other candidate is not, your arrest alone cannot support the decision to not hire you if the company hires the other person.
Additionally, the EEOC indicates that arrests alone should not preclude hiring someone but may stimulate further investigations into the matter. If a person is still deemed to be responsible, an arrest may not be sufficient cause for denying employment to you.
If you would like to learn more about the potential use of arrest information for employment screenings, please visit the crime records page of our Arizona criminal defense website.