Hello, I am currently thinking about a few different careers, but my main interest has always been in the field of criminal justice. I was curious at some of the requirements one may need to become a crime scene investigator. I will have obtained my associate's degree in a couple of months and was considering majoring in criminology for my bachelor's degree. My main concern about this is my past. I have smoked weed several times and have done ecstasy a few times about two years ago now. Will this completely stop me from any type of career in the field of criminal justice. I made mistakes in my past and criminal justice is my passion, I am a completely changed person from a few years ago and there is nothing else I would want to pursue if this field was a real opportunity for me. Any insight helps! Thanks!!
Also, there are over 400 jobs listed in the employment opportunity page of the Crime Scene Investigator Network. Many are entry level jobs. Look through the job announcements to see what employers require.
As a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist you will often be in a position to handle drugs and cash (sometimes very large quantities). You will also have to testify in court on these matters. It makes no sense for an agency to hire someone with drug problems, or has any other kind of arrest record (DUI, domestic violence, etc.). That is the major reason agencies do background investigations on candidates.
That being said, if you have not used drugs for a significant time then most agencies will take that into consideration. Most everyone makes mistakes. The questions are: how big were the mistakes, what have you done to overcome the mistakes, and is it possible the mistakes will be repeated after hire.
The most important thing is to be truthful. You may have to take a polygraph examination. If you admit your mistakes before the background investigation and polygraph you have a chance. It you try to conceal your mistakes and are found out during the polygraph or background investigation you will be disqualified.
During the background investigation they will contact people who know you, and they are very good about finding people who know you that were not listed in your references. They will find out about past drug use.
One thing you might want to do is identify the agency you might want to work for, and contact the person at the agency who does backgrounds. Tell that person your situation and see what they say and/or recommend.