I have wanted a career in forensic science since I was 18 years old (I am 36 now). I am currently a Sophomore majoring in forensic science-crime scene investigation. In my 20s I became addicted to heroin (I have been clean for 8 years). During this time I received a felony theft conviction with a 2 year deferred sentence/probation. I successfully completed probation, and the felony was "taken off my record". I am legally allowed to mark the "No Felony box" on a general application. A background check by an ordinary person/company cannot see it on my record. However, a police department would be able to pull up the arrest record. My concerns/questions is two-fold. 1: Of United States crime scene investigators, how many are employed by police departments vs private companies or state labs? 2: Do I have a chance of getting hired in this field (even if it is a lower position) or am I wasting my time and money? I have had conflicting answers regarding this question with different professors.
Thank you so much in advance for your anwser, even if it is not what I want to hear. (Lauren)
As far as I know, you shouldn't have a problem getting hired as that shouldn't be able to be seen anymore. As for the data you requested, there might be a website online you could get that data from or request it. I'd have to dig a bit more, but either that that information should definitely be available.
You should strongly consider that even though you may be able to legally mark "no" to the felony questions; Police Depts especially will consider the issues of the offense itself and the drug addiction in terms of what cops call "moral turpitude". This could prevent you from being hired, it depends on where you apply and how they view things. Some things I would consider in looking at a applicant's background is whether or not there is a pattern of inconsistency, a significant change in the applicant's lifestyle/associates (friends with a SA problem may cause you problems if the agency feels it would make you vulnerable to compromise), and what the 'evidence' of that persons' life tells me. Dont be surprised if they call the arresting officers or even your school teachers, when I do a background I will call the listed references and ask them for three people not listed on the application who know the applicants background, qualifications, and suitability. Be prepared before hand with answers to the hard questions. I dont want to upset you, but you do need to be prepared.