You have heard people say that it is hard to get a job with a criminal record. As soon as you get arrested, you start worrying. Have you already derailed any future career possibilities? Do you have to tell your prospective employers what happened?

Not yet. Under Section 432.7 of the California Labor Code, employers are barred from asking potential employees if they have been detained or arrested, unless it led to a conviction.

So, if the arrest is as far as your case ever goes — maybe it gets thrown out when it becomes clear that there is no evidence to convict, for instance — then you do not have to worry. You don’t need to tell your prospective employers and they cannot legally ask you about it. The event should have no impact on your career at all.

On top of that, employers are not supposed to go out searching for additional arrest information without a conviction. This is true for any source.

This gives you a fair amount of protection. In today’s world, with easy Internet access, it is not difficult for people to look for news reports about arrests. In some cases, the court of public opinion quickly swings against those being arrested. The law recognizes this and protects you. Regardless of public opinion, if you never got convicted, the arrest should not hinder your ability to get a job.

As you can see, the ramifications of getting convicted stretch far beyond jail time. Make sure you know all of the legal defense options that you have after an arrest.