What Jobs Can You Get With a Felony Drug Charge in Oklahoma?

A person getting arrested and put in a police car.

Despite the challenges that come with a felony record, some industries are willing to offer second chances. Navigating the job market with a felony record, especially a drug charge, may seem daunting, but many industries recognize the value of rehabilitation and acquired skills over one’s past mistakes

If you or someone you know has a felony drug charge and is looking to get a job, it’s important to understand your rights and explore your options. At Cannon & Associates, we help individuals with criminal records by providing tips to secure employment and supporting them to keep their freedom. Our experienced team of attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need to overcome the challenges you may face. Don’t let your past hold you back; contact us today at 405-657-2323 for a free case strategy session and take the first step towards a brighter future.

Facing the Future with a Felony Drug Charge

A conviction for a drug felony can undoubtedly pose numerous challenges. The societal stigma, reduced trust by employers, and limitations in eligible careers can make the job hunt feel like an uphill battle. Despite these challenges, the path to gainful employment remains open.

What’s needed is a proactive approach, a focus on industries that value rehabilitation, and a commitment to honesty.

The Reality of Background Checks

Background checks are a common part of the job application process. These checks can reveal past drug charges, leading employers to be wary of the applicant. Applicants with a felony record are about half as likely to be called back for an interview compared to those without a felony record. This reality should not deter you but rather encourage transparency during the application process, including being honest about the results of your background check.

Honesty about past convictions on job applications is essential, as it portrays integrity and openness to discuss the details during an interview. Honesty is always the best policy, and it starts with acknowledging your past, accepting its lessons, and using those experiences as stepping stones toward a brighter future.

Finding Felony-Friendly Industries

Not all industries are stringent about background checks, and not all companies within these industries have the same requirements. Identifying these industries that value rehabilitation is a key part of finding employment post-incarceration. Industries such as:

  • Construction
  • Food service
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Skilled trades
  • Small businesses

Some sectors are known for hiring individuals with a criminal history. These sectors provide a variety of roles, such as stock clerks, roofers, factory workers, sales representatives for wholesale products, and suitable jobs in the culinary industry like cooking and serving. Among these, roofing companies offer opportunities for those seeking employment as roofers.

Resources like the Felony Record Hub can guide ex-offenders to industries with felony-friendly jobs. Another strategy is offering to work in roles such as roofing. Such an approach not only equips you with valuable experience but also displays your dedication and competency to potential employers.

Tailoring Your Job Search

Your past does not define your future. This saying holds true when you tailor your job search to positions that highlight your specialized skills, less impacted by your criminal record. Prioritizing industries that value rehabilitation and offer fair chance hiring practices is a strategic move that can lead to more successful job search outcomes.

During job interviews, it’s imperative to briefly mention your criminal history and then primarily discuss your qualifications and fit for the position. This strategy helps you steer the narrative, transforming a potential drawback into a testament to your honesty, resilience, and dedication to personal growth.

Overcoming Barriers: Employment Opportunities After Conviction

Despite the barriers, numerous employment opportunities exist for individuals with felony drug charges. Some of these sectors include:

  • Construction
  • Truck driving
  • Landscaping
  • Solar energy
  • Creative fields such as graphic design and film editing

These industries value rehabilitation and offer second chances to individuals with felony drug charges.

Skilled Trades Offering a Second Chance

Specialized training or certification in fields like welding or HVAC can significantly improve suitable job prospects for individuals with criminal records. Such training equips you with specific skills and also aids in alleviating the stigma attached to a criminal record in the job market. For instance, obtaining recognized qualifications like that of a journeyman carpenter can open doors to opportunities in the construction industry.

You might consider starting as a helper to tradespeople in the construction industry, where licensing is not a barrier to employment. This approach allows you to gain experience, develop skills, and demonstrate your value to potential employers.

The Role of Small Businesses

Small businesses often form the backbone of local economies, and they also play a significant role in providing opportunities for individuals with felony drug charges. These businesses may be incentivized to hire ex-offenders due to tax benefits like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This initiative provides a tax credit worth up to 40% of the first $6,000 paid in wages to each eligible ex-offender. Please be aware that legal regulations, including potential dollar amounts, may change over time. For the most current and accurate information, consult with legal assistance to ensure accuracy in your specific situation.

Employers frequently observe that ex-offenders tend to be appreciative and loyal, placing high value on their jobs and showing unwavering commitment. This gratitude can lead to long-term employment, creating a win-win situation for both the employer and the ex-offender.

Harnessing Your Potential: Skills and Education That Count

Learning skills that are in high demand can significantly improve employment prospects for individuals with a felony drug charge. Whether you’ve received vocational training or education during incarceration, or are considering pursuing further education, remember that every step toward skill acquisition is a step towards a brighter future.

Vocational Training and Certifications

Vocational training and certification programs are often completed in a shorter timeframe than traditional academic degrees. They enable individuals with criminal records to efficiently acquire marketable skills. Training programs for electricians and careers such as wind turbine technicians offer secure and well-paying jobs with high expected growth rates.

Resources like Vocational rehabilitation programs, military employment training, and Apprenticeship.gov offer hands-on training for careers in fields such as construction, welding, and other high-demand areas. Organizations like E.O.R.N. also play a crucial role in breaking the cycle of recidivism by providing employment tools and training to disenfranchised groups, including ex-offenders.

Leveraging Online Courses for Marketable Skills

In today’s digital era, online learning platforms offer a wealth of opportunities for individuals looking to improve their skills. Self-directed online learning platforms such as:

  • Coursera
  • edX
  • Udacity
  • Udemy
  • Khan Academy
  • The Open University

Offer courses that you can access to enhance your employability, find jobs, and explore opportunities with temp agencies.

By utilizing the skills acquired online, you can explore self-employment opportunities in areas like graphic design, mobile app development, and writing. The technology sector, in particular, offers promising freelance and remote job opportunities with open-minded employers and high demand. Being self-employed allows you to avoid pre-employment background checks while showcasing your skills and dedication through a personal portfolio or side project.

Legal Advocacy: How a Lawyer Can Help

Legal advocacy plays a crucial role in the journey of individuals with felony drug charges. A criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and the court to potentially reduce a felony drug charge to a misdemeanor, affecting life and career opportunities more favorably.

Expungement and Record Sealing

Expungement of a felony drug charge from one’s record offers several benefits, including:

  • Removing the offense from federal and state records that employers might check, enhancing job opportunities
  • Restoring certain rights, such as the right to vote and the right to possess firearms
  • Improving eligibility for housing and financial assistance programs

Understanding the expungement laws that vary between states requires legal experience and knowledge.

Upon sealing a criminal record, you can rightfully claim that you have never been arrested or convicted. This ability can open up a wider range of employment opportunities, offering you a fresh start. Remember that eligibility for record sealing is contingent upon waiting periods post-release and varies by crime.

Navigating the Legal System for Better Opportunities

Legal experience is key for defending against drug paraphernalia charges and effectively navigating the varying drug crime laws across different states. A drug defense attorney’s role includes working towards keeping a defendant’s criminal record clean, significantly affecting future employment opportunities.

With an understanding of state-specific laws, defendants and attorneys such as Cannon & Associates can handle the disclosure of criminal records in employment and potential anti-discrimination protections. Programs like the Federal Bonding Program support employment by providing employers with a bond that acts as insurance against theft or dishonesty.

Practical Steps to Employment with a Criminal History

The past is a place of learning, not a place of living. This philosophy rings true when it comes to practical steps towards employment. Despite the challenges, with the right mindset, tools, and resources, it’s possible to take on the job market successfully even with a criminal history.

Crafting a Persuasive Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume is more than just a document; it’s a tool that showcases your qualifications and strengths, persuading potential employers of your value. Including training or work completed during incarceration in the Education or Work Experience sections can highlight the skills learned and contributions made. However, it’s crucial not to include your criminal history on the resume.

A cover letter complements your resume, providing a personalized touch and an opportunity to address any gaps in employment history due to incarceration. When crafted meticulously, your resume and cover letter can unlock opportunities and lay the groundwork for interviews.

Acing the Interview with Honesty and Confidence

An interview is more than just a conversation; it’s an opportunity to present yourself as the right candidate for the job. Honesty is paramount during interviews, especially when discussing your criminal history. It’s important to briefly explain your crime, take responsibility for your actions, and stress that you have turned your life around.

The interview is also your stage to highlight your qualifications and suitability for the role. Share positive steps taken since your conviction, such as sobriety or further education, to illustrate your commitment to change. Making a good first impression is crucial. Dress appropriately, highlight relevant skills, and prepare for common interview questions.

Partnering for Progress: Resources and Support Networks

You are not alone on this journey. There are countless resources and support networks available that can help you find employment opportunities and reintegrate into the workforce.

Agencies Specializing in Second Chances

Organizations such as Goodwill and 2nd Chances 4 Felons provide support and linkages to employment opportunities for convicted felons with criminal records. These resources can be invaluable in your job search, providing support, guidance, and direct connections to potential employers.

The Federal Government, state and local government resources, and nonprofit organizations offer programs to help felons get formal education and training. Using job search resources available through work-release programs, state services, and resume evaluation services can bolster your employment chances, making it more likely for companies to hire convicted felons.

Networking and Mentorship

Networking and mentorship play a critical role in guiding ex-offenders as they understand the path to re-enter the workforce post-incarceration. Networking with other ex-offenders and organizations that support them is a valuable way to discover job opportunities that may not be publicly advertised.

Organizations like the Ex-Offenders Resource Network, Inc. (E.O.R.N.) offer peer-to-peer mentoring, job readiness training, and employment opportunities specifically for ex-offenders. Remember, mentorship and networking aren’t just about taking; they’re about building relationships, giving back, and growing together.

How Cannon & Associates Can Help You

A felony drug charge can indeed pose significant challenges, but it’s crucial to remember that it does not define you or limit your potential. There are numerous employment opportunities available across various sectors that value rehabilitation and offer second chances. With the right approach, honesty, resilience, and a commitment to growth, you can handle the job market successfully.

At Cannon & Associates, we understand the challenges you face. Our goal is to help you manage the legal system, protect your freedom, and improve your chances of finding employment.

Our seasoned team of attorneys has extensive experience in negotiating with prosecutors and the court, potentially downgrading a felony drug charge to a misdemeanor, especially in cases where individuals abuse drugs, which can have a more favorable impact on your life and career prospects. We also handle serious charges such as drug trafficking and firearms offenses, providing a robust defense aimed at preserving your rights. Additionally, we offer compassionate representation for those involved in domestic violence cases, understanding the sensitive nature of such accusations and the profound effect they can have on your future.

We stand by you, ready to fight for your rights and your future. We’re just a phone call away at 405-657-2323.

Frequently Asked Questions

What professional license can a convicted felon get in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, convicted felons face certain restrictions when it comes to obtaining professional licenses. However, the possibility of obtaining a license varies depending on the profession and the nature of the felony. Some licenses in medical, legal, and other specific fields may be more challenging to acquire, but expungement or pardon can improve eligibility.

What industries are more likely to hire individuals with a felony drug charge?

Individuals with a felony drug charge are more likely to find employment in industries such as construction, food service, rehabilitation counseling, skilled trades, and small businesses. These industries are known for being more open to hiring individuals with a criminal history.

How can vocational training and certification programs help individuals with felony drug charges?

Vocational training and certification programs can greatly improve job opportunities for individuals with a felony drug charge by showing dedication to professional development and gaining special skills. This can lead to better employment prospects and career advancement.

Can a felony drug charge be removed from my record in Oklahoma?

Yes, in certain circumstances, a felony drug charge can be removed from your record in Oklahoma through a legal process called expungement. The eligibility for expungement depends on various factors, such as the type of felony, the amount of time that has passed since the completion of the sentence, and whether you have any subsequent convictions. It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand your specific situation and the steps involved in the expungement process.

How does the Work Opportunity Tax Credit benefit employers who hire individuals with felony drug charges?

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers who hire individuals from certain target groups, including those with felony drug charges. This credit incentivizes employers to hire job seekers who might otherwise face significant barriers to employment. By hiring an eligible individual, employers can claim a tax credit of up to 40% of the first $6,000 in wages paid to the new employee during the first year of employment, which can help reduce the overall cost of hiring new staff. Please be aware that legal regulations, including potential dollar amounts, may change over time. For the most current and accurate information, consult with legal assistance to ensure accuracy in your specific situation.

Cannon & Associates

Fierce Advocates®

For Families and Freedom

Our Client Reviews

More 5-star Reviews Than 99% Of Lawyers In Oklahoma

"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."


"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."


"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."


"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."


"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"


"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"


"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."


"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."


"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."


"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."


"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."


"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."


"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."


"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."


"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"


"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"


"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"


"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."