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Criminal history bill may help applicants with criminal records

We discussed in an earlier post the difficulties in finding a job for individuals with a criminal record. Fortunately, things may be a little easier for some people if a North Carolina bill is passed.

North Carolina lawmakers recently proposed a bill that would make easier for individuals with criminal records to obtain a business license. The bill would require occupational licensing boards to review applications from people with criminal records and consider different factors before denying an applicant with a criminal record.

Most significantly, the bill would prohibit a licensing board from automatically denying an application for a business license based on the fact that the applicant has a criminal record or history.

The bill states that licensing boards would have to consider the level and seriousness of the crime on the applicant's criminal record. Other factors that would have to be considered include when the crime occurred, the age of the applicant when the crime happened and the connection between the crime and the duties the person would have after obtaining a business license. They also said the licensing board should consider the criminal conviction and sentence the person received and the employment history of the applicant after the crime was committed.

The proposed bill does state that business license applications can still be denied if the applicant's criminal history warrants a reason not to approve their application, such as a crime involving fraud or if the applicant has multiple criminal convictions. Business license applications can also be denied if the applicant refuses to have a criminal history check.

If the bill is passed, it could help many people with criminal records have a better transition into society by helping them find a new career and increase their potential to become a part of a community. It could also decrease the rate of recidivism in North Carolina.

Source: Your Daily Journal, "Business licensees' could get relief from criminal history bill," Laura Edington, Feb. 26, 2013

Our law firm represents individuals facing criminal charges. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our Wilmington Criminal Defense Attorney page.

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