Can I become a security guard after being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor?

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Yes, in most cases. But the specifics will wary from state to state.

If one person has a felony record, they can apply to their appropriate state agency for a rehabilitation certificate.

The following six states offer certificates of rehabilitation or other similar methods for removing occupational restrictions due to felony or misdemeanor records:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. Nevada
  5. New Jersey
  6. New York
  7. Virginia: Security Guard Job after a felony in Virginia State

In the other states they will make the determination based on the type of felony, how long ago was it happened etc.

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court certified document declaring that a person is now obeying the laws of the land and is demonstrating good moral character.

It is is designed to restore civil and political rights of citizenship to ex-felons (and some misdemeanants) who have proved their ability for rehabilitation and performing normal civic functions.

The rehabilitation laws differ in how extensively they restore the individual’s civil rights, eligibility criteria, and procedures.

In the state of California, once a person has received a Certificate of Rehabilitation, he or she may not be denied a professional or business license solely based on his or her felony conviction.

The certificate has different names in different states. To find the state specific information, you can search your state’s website.

The rehabilitation certificates will say that you are rehabilitated and you are no longer a threat to the society nor a disreputable person. There is some waiting period requirements in some states and for some states you will go through a training or rehabilitation agency.

The final answer is yes, you can have a felony record and still work as a security guard. It is actually illegal to be denied the job because you have the conviction. Once you are rehabilitated, depending on the state, you can retain you rights to carry firearms and your rights to hold public office (police officer, firefighter elected official, etc.).

Read more Security Guard FAQs

The rehabilitation steps, documentation etc for several states are listed below:
San Diego, California: Certificate of Rehabilitation & Pardon Instruction Packet

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