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  1. #1

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    Apr 2007
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    Default Will this be a problem getting hired?

    To make a long story short, when I was 14 I was being physically abused for a long period of time, I said something that led me to trouble and instead of the abusers getting charged, I was. I was charged with felony harassment since the police believed the adults over a 14 year old kid. I was arrested and later the charges were dropped. I have not had so much as a parking ticket in over 10 years, just the one felony charge when I was a minor. The judge/lawyer said that would be wiped from my record when I turned 18, but now that I want to get into the fire service I am afraid that will be pulled up in my background check. Will this be a problem?


  2. #2
    Forum Member
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    Check in the yellow pages under "Lawyer"

  3. #3
    Forum Member TC33FF's Avatar
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    Galveston TX
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    It should be off the record. If it does show up a lot of places will allow you to explain and go from there. You can also get a background check yourself from many police depts. A lawyer would help to. Chris
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

  4. #4
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    Be honest. If they ask, let them know what happened. Don't try to hide it. If it's something that was the result of abuse, and a troubled childhood, people will understand. The fact you have a clean record since then, and the charges were dropped, only work in your favor. Mistakes can be forgiven, but a liar won't be trusted. So don't lie, and let them judge you with all the facts present.

  5. #5
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    If you were not convicted it should not be an issue. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. More importantly, I hope you have been able to work through your childhood difficulties. Those are some really tough cards to be dealt as a young man.

  6. #6
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    Hey there,

    I cannot offer legal advice, but I think talking to a lawyer about this is a great idea. You might be able to get your record expunged (removed) since it was while you were a juvenile.

    If that is all that you have in your background, then I want to commend you for turning your life around and being a contributer to society. Most times people don't overcome childhood tragedys and it becomes cyclical.

    As far as your chances of getting hired, I think you have a pretty good shot - but I have a few comments...

    BE HONEST.
    Fire departments know that there are VERY FEW saints (perfect people). They will hire someone less than a saint...but they won't hire liars. Firefighters have to have morals and values - honesty is a very important one. Acknowledge any and all mistakes -they have seen your background (or will) and will find out. Again, what they are looking for is an honest person. Then show them how you have LEARNED FROM THEM (and therefore haven't repeated them).

    The more time that has passed since your last "negative" (speeding ticket, arrest, etc), the more you have proved that you have "overcome" your past issues.

    What have your actions been since the negative occurances?
    - Actions speak louder than words. Anyone can SAY that they want to "make a difference" or "help people." Few people DO. If you are going into an interview and the panel asks you why you want to be a firefighter...if your reason is because you want to help people - you better have something in your background to back up your words...like working with Habitat for Humanity or similar community programs.

    One last thing.
    If a firefighting career is "something you want bad" then be prepared to be told NO many times before you get told yes.
    TEST AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN.
    DON'T GIVE UP.
    STAY POSITIVE: Remember that the journey alot of times is more important than the destination.

    Good luck and keep stayin out of trouble,

    John

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