I am in my first year of college. I am going for my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. I want to know if I have been in any kind of trouble will this for sure disqualify me?
I am 38 years old and I am a mother of 3 kids. #college #criminal-justice #degree
The answer varies by state/agency. I have been out of law enforcement for ten years. I can tell you that back then, at least at my department, a deferred felony was still treated as a felony conviction. Is the period of deferral over? Can you get it expunged from your record? No matter what you do, even if you get it expunged, you will still want to disclose it unless the application states specifically that you can withhold it.
I am looking at Oklahoma peace officer info. It states that it is a disqualifier if the applicant "was convicted in court of a felony." I can't find any exceptions.
I stumbled onto something that said Colorado is more lenient:
"An individual convicted of any felony as an adult is ineligible, and no variance is allowed for a felony conviction with the following exceptions:
Deferred judgments and sentencing agreements
Deferred prosecution agreements
Pretrial diversion agreements"
If you are willing to move to Colorado, then, there is a possibility. You would of course need to meet all other requirements. If the felony was for domestic violence, drugs, or theft, it's still likely going to be "no," as those are the three main categories that departments avoid hiring.
The CJ degree is cross-marketable in social service occupations, among others, so please don't give up on your education!
EDIT: I forgot to commend you for going to school at your age! I know it's not easy! Secondly, you asked in another place about discussing things privately with us. We are not allowed to give you our contact information. If you find it elsewhere on other sites, that is up to you. I answer all correspondence.
Because you are an adult, I think it is important for you to be realistic in your expectations. Some requirements are mandated by the state licensing agencies. If the state says "no, not at all," then, no agency in that state can or will hire you. So, you want to look up the state licensing requirements for peace officers, as I did for Colorado. Tennessee actually allows for waivers. See chapter 1110-09.04, here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/commerce/documents/post/resources/POST_Rules.pdf
I again want to encourage you to be open-minded about other options. Some agencies use civilian crime scene investigators (San Antonio), but I would speculate that they have close to the same standards as the police officers. See here for info on Tennessee: https://www.crimesceneinvestigatoredu.org/tennessee/
A position that I recently interacted with was the "Victims Advocate Office," which is part of the District Attorney's office. My parents were the victims of a felony. The Victims Advocate office sent my parents questionnaires to fill out as to how the crime had impacted them. They then use this information when asking for punishment from the court. They do other things as well. Some crime victims advocates will help victims through the process (such as staying with victims of sexual assault while at the hospital, getting them counseling, etc)
After looking at the Tennessee CSI page, you may want to consider shifting your major to Forensic Science. Anyway, I hope this helps you!
If the offense, even criminal, is related to substance abuse, bear in mind that addiction is a disease and should be treated, by law, as such. In my case, I did go through Addiction Treatment, joined a 12 Steps fellowship, i.e.: AA or NA, and have maintained my sobriety throughout. I've always answered "yes" to "Have you ever been arrested?" and was willing to give full explanations, together with my present situation and way of life.
At one point, I was already hired at a Treatment Center and was approached by DCF disqualifying me for my counseling position. I requested a review as allowed by law, and after presenting the necessary documentation showing what professionals in the community could attest about my present life-style, I was exempted by DCF. . Hope this helps.
George recommends the following next steps:
That being said, any youthful misdemeanor or foolish indiscretion (unless you killed or hurt someone driving under the influence, or a conviction for sexual assault) will be forgiven by college or graduate school admission officers and most employers. You will need to admit your mistake honestly and be able to comfortably articulate what you have learned from your experience.
As the previous answer suggests, it is always better to be honest about any mistake, criminal or otherwise. As you grow in your profession, the more good work you do (as a police officer, attorney in private practice, as a social worker, or in almost any other profession) will overcome any mistakes you have made.
Kimberly recommends the following next steps: