Seeking answer to background and CSI careers

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Seeking answer to background and CSI careers

Julie
I am a veteran who hits some bad times and made some bad choice but am trying to turn my life around. I'm enrolling in school and am interesteed in CSI as a career. Does anyone know if a criminal backgrouond would prevent me from practicing in this field? No one at the school seems to know the answer to this question. Thanks!
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Re: Seeking answer to background and CSI careers

Steve Staggs
Administrator

Julie—

Not knowing what the "bad times and choices" were I can't tell you for sure if you can work as a CSI, but here are some thoughts:

There will be a background investigation before you are hired as a Crime Scene Investigator. Just like a police officer, the Crime Scene Investigator must be of good character and background. The CSI must be trusted to handle evidence and testify truthfully in court.

Most candidates will have something of concern in their background. So agencies usually look to see what the candidate has done since the issue to correct their behavior. Whether you can pass a background depends on a several things, including:

  • Have you been convicted of a felony? I don't know of any state where someone convicted of a felony is eligible for hire under the state's government code.

  • What "bad times and choices" are in your background? The agency may look at a DUI and consider how long ago it was, and what you have done to correct your behavior since then. Same with drug use. How long has it been since you used drugs and what have you done to correct your behavior since then?

  • Does your background show a pattern of poor judgment? No agency wants to take a risk with someone who has judgment problems. Who you associate with is a reflection on your judgment.

The bottom line usually is that with so many applicants for Crime Scene Investigator positions most agencies don't need to take risks with someone who has a poor background.

That being said, as long as there is nothing "fatal" in your background (such as a felony conviction) there are some steps you can take to better your chances.

  • Contact agencies you might want to work for and tell them about your background and ask them if there is any chance for you if you apply. Some agencies are stricter than others.

  • Find an agency that says they would consider you and then volunteer at that agency. Do anything they will let you do. Let the people in the agency get to know you so they can feel more comfortable with you when you apply and they do your background.
Julie wrote
I am a veteran who hits some bad times and made some bad choice but am trying to turn my life around. I'm enrolling in school and am interesteed in CSI as a career. Does anyone know if a criminal backgrouond would prevent me from practicing in this field? ...

—Steve

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net