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If you have a criminal record, don't lie about it; if they find out about your record, you could be fired and will be ineligible for unemployment benefits.  In addition, lying about your record actually can be a crime in itself.

Explaining your criminal background history to a potential employer doesn't necessarily mean you will be denied the job.  Try to emphasize how you've changed from when you committed the crime and stay positive.  Also, make sure you have references that emphasize your character.  Finally, be realistic about what kind of crimes can affect your ability to get certain jobs.  It's best to be honest and prove how you've moved on and learned from your experience.

You can contact your state's Department of Justice for a copy of your record.   

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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