Over four years ago, GJP represented Devon on a minor theft case. Devon had never been in trouble before this case, and GJP’s attorneys and social workers were able to get his case dismissed with consent to expunge after he successfully completed PTI (pre-trial intervention) classes. In 2010 GJP attorneys helped get Devon’s record expunged, and he had no criminal history.
Fast forward to September, 2012, and Devon was offered a good job with a local utility company as a field technician. But just before the training was to start, the offer was rescinded. The expunged charges had appeared on a background check done by a private company.
When a GJP attorney investigated the report from the private background check company, not only was the company reporting the expunged charge, but they were reporting it incorrectly. Many employers do not use the official sources of criminal histories, but instead use private background companies, which are much more likely to have errors and duplicates in their reports.
When GJP’s attorney called the private background company and sent over relevant materials and a letter, they were helpful, calling the DA’s office to confirm the expungement and issuing a new background report to the utility company. The GJP attorney also spoke directly to General Counsel at the utility company and they were helpful and responsive.
Unfortunately for Devon, this unnecessary stumbling block couldn’t be cleared up in time for him to start the job for which the utility company had originally hired him. But the company made good on its job offer – Devon started work two weeks ago as a meter reader.
Years ago, Devon made a mistake. He did all that was asked of him by the courts, but – because of pervasive technology and reporting errors – he is still, in some sense, paying his debt. It’s quite possible Devon’s record will show up again the next time he applies for a job, and if GJP can, we will be there to assist him. GJP’s mission is to “defend people accused of crimes and, win or lose, stand with them as they rebuild their lives.” We’re glad we can still stand with Devon.