T Nation

Getting a Job with a Felony


I have a friend that i was just talking to that was charged with felony possession of marijuana in Tennessee in 2001. He wasnt a big drug dealer or anything, he just got set up by the drug task force by a friend that got caught selling coke.

Anyways, this guy has gotten lucky and has gotten some pretty decent jobs in that 9 year span some with big companies. He has a 4 year degree is very clean cut and has a very good resume and background in sales. He is probably one of the best salespeople that I know. Anyways he has been laid off from his job and cant find a job in this economy due to his background and the job market being so competitive right now.

It is funny beacuse this guy is one of the most straight laced, christian, all around good guy that I know. Does anyone have any advise for him? I just got off the phone with him and he is a wreck right now because he has a 1 year old daughter and wife. I didnt know what to tell the guy. Its messed up that a possession of marijuana charge from 9 years ago would keep someone from getting a job.


Tell him to ask a lawyer if there is a way to get that expunged from his record.


Start his own business or get his record expunged. 9 years, no other arrests, a good lawyer and a non-violent felony he has a chance of getting it cleared off.


Maybe focus on looking at smaller companies, family owned, or some networking through the Church? Most big corporations have internal policies regarding background checks and whatnot, and can't really be flexible on a case by case basis. Smaller operation are probably his best bet. Sales is an interesting field as there is always room for a good salesman. Maybe he will have to take a more commission based position with lower base pay.


He has checked and there is no way to get it expunged. It is on his record for life. He will just have to live with it. He just called me and told me that another company that was about to hire him turned him down due to the record in the same field that he is already working in, where he was the top salesperson at his former company.


was it said that he was turned down because of his record? Because I'm 99% sure that is illegal. Outside that, I'm not sure if its all states, but in Florida just about everyone gets a free pass, I had a aggravated assault w/ deadly weapon that I had sealed 6 months after it happened. I have a hard time believing that after 9 years he can't have it sealed.


I am not sure if you can expunge a felony. I know you can do one misdeamenor in your lifetime.

Funny how it is always a friend and the cops are the ones who set them up...


Police corruption is no laughing matter Rob


How do you know by his story it is police corruption?

Do they make mistakes? Yes! Everyone in jail is innocent trust me...if he got caught for marijuana it certainly is not the police's fault he was dealing.

He still had to go to court and fight it. He has a conviction and now it will follow him for the rest of his life.

If I were him I will be honest with the employers... and get solid references. Other than than I am not sure what else he can do.


To me it sucks because the guy who set him up was a worthless human being, he was selling coke for a long time and finally got caught. We have all been friends since high school. The guy selling the coke got his charges dismissed after he set up some petty pot purchases with his friends basically. I always thought that they wanted the bigger fish, than a few of the smaller ones. Now the snitch has a clean record and my buddy has to suffer for basically doing a favor for a so-called friend. The justice system here is BS imo.


There was no police corruption. He did do the crime, under the circumstances it is still pretty shitty though.


I agree with this statement.

I don't know the whole story but I am sure there is a little more than meets the eye. He did get convicted. A drug task force apprehended him. Was it worth their time to catch your friend? I don't know...but in the end he did get caught.

I wish the best of luck.


At this stage I'd suggest he go on a sword killing spree, starting by decapitating the person who set him up, then the people who turned him down for the jobs. Lets see the next guy turn him down for a job.



ok Rob, you said "Funny how...the cops are the one who set them up"

so I said "Police corruption is no laughing matter" ... GET IT?

And here I thought that was worth at least a chuckle


I don't know about Tenn., but in PA an expungement only clears what you were charged with but not convicted of. The convictions stay on record for ever.

As for advice- I have none. I've been shot down for more jobs than I have fingers and toes based on criminal background, and thats not even with any felonies.


ok Rob, you said "Funny how...the cops are the one who set them up"

so I said "Police corruption is no laughing matter" ... GET IT?

And here I thought that was worth at least a chuckle


You know what, I didn't think it was funny the first time you posted this, but the second time through made me laugh so hard, I broke my monitor with my spontaneous laugh-induced erection. Thanks for reposting.



This is why drugs should be decriminalized. You can escape an addiction, but you can't escape a conviction!


DB's monitor couldn't escape his erection. So what is the moral of THAT?



I completely agree with this, atleast with marijuana. The country should just tax it like they do in California. I think that this crime committed should be grouped with other felonys such as murder, rape, etc. This was probably one of the most harmless crimes out there, so why the stigma?