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RECEIVING a driving offence conviction can be a really shocking experience. A conviction can also involve a lengthy driving ban, which not only affects your daily life but can also force you to leave your job.

Your job may actually be dependent on you having a clean driving licence and no criminal record. On top of all this, you worry that friends and relatives may have lost respect for you, especially if your offence involved alcohol.

You will have learned your lesson, however, and as such you’re entitled to start rebuilding your life. If you lost your job as a result of your conviction, you may be doubtful about finding a new job.

There’s lots of information and legal advice online about driving convictions, much of it focused on job-hunting and your legal rights after you’ve been prosecuted. Here are the most common FAQs – hopefully they’ll give you some peace of mind.

If you’re still worried, then talk to a driving law specialist solicitor like Kenway Miller.

Do I have to declare my convictions to employers?

If you have unspent convictions, then you do have to declare them if asked to do so. Most convictions are deemed to be spent after a number of years, depending on the nature and severity of the offence.

If you’re applying for a job that involves working with children or vulnerable adults, then you must undergo an enhanced DBS check (formerly the CRB check). This screening reveals even spent convictions and cautions, but this doesn’t have to mean you won’t be offered the job.

Can I refuse the DBS check?

Yes, of course you can, but you won’t progress any further with your job application if you do. You have to sign a declaration when you apply for the job to say you agree to the check if, and only if, you’re successful. You have to give consent for the DBS, so no-one can run it without you knowing.

I really want this job, but I’m worried about revealing my conviction

Quite bluntly; there’s no way around this. You may well be unsuccessful, or have job offers withdrawn as a result but someone will be prepared to give you a chance. You have to show how you’ve learned and grown as a person since your offence.

You also have to see your conviction as only a small part of who you are; what about your skills, training, experience? Be honest and upfront about the conviction, but be sure to demonstrate how it’s in the past.

Are there any companies that have a policy of employing ex-offenders?

Yes, certainly. Companies like Greggs and DHL actively try to hire ex-offenders and even ex-convicts as they can “see past” these misdemeanours to the real person. There are also smaller companies and traders that may give you a chance to prove yourself.

Just be upfront and honest, no matter how embarrassed you are. You’re not the first person to have a criminal record and you won’t be the last.

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