Yes. You can pass a level 2 background check with a felony but that will depend on how old the felony is and the nature of the conviction. Even if you pass the check, whether you can get what you want will most often depend on the situation.

Some employers will not hire you with a felony arrest even if you weren’t convicted, but some will hire you with a felony arrest as long as it did not lead to a conviction. Also, note that some companies will hire you with a felony conviction as long as it wasn’t a violent offense and so on.

Also, note some employers will hire you regardless; they only want to be certain that you are being upfront with them about it. Depending on what your crime was, when and where it happened, and the job you’re applying for, there may be mitigating factors that employers have to consider.

For example, there is a difference between a single case of car theft 15 years ago, and a couple of convictions for car theft. Most often, if your past crime is related to the position you are seeking, it can and will likely be used to disqualify you from the job.

Note that a Level 2 Background Check is a deep, fingerprint-based report that ventures into both state and national registries. State-level regulations are known to differ when it comes to who needs these checks and how far back they go.

For instance, in Florida, level 2 checks are necessary for people who work in high-responsibility positions or with vulnerable groups.

In the state of Texas, level 2 background checks are allowed to go back seven years and employers can only go back further if your salary is over $75,000. Level 2 checks use your fingerprint to pull up records, as it produces more information than a level 1 check.

Since they are meant for high-responsibility jobs, there is a comprehensive list of offenses that will raise a red flag on a Level 2 check. You need to understand that this type of screening exists to protect the people you intend to work with.

Crimes such as kidnapping, trafficking, manslaughter, patient abuse, and pretty much any offense related to hurting a vulnerable person will affect your chances. Although a felony conviction will always surface in a Level 2 criminal background screening, you can apply for an exemption three years after you served your sentence so that it’s no longer considered a disqualifying offense.

Tips to Consider When You Are Job Hunting With a Felony

Job applicants that have ever been convicted of a felony are always worried or eager to know whether or not they can pass a background check. Note that a felony is a crime, most often a serious offense that is punishable by a minimum of one-year imprisonment.

Since it is considered legal for a candidate to get disqualified due to their criminal records, particularly felony convictions, you would want to know how you can pass a level 2 background check with it. Nonetheless, here are tips to consider when you’re job hunting with a felony:

  1. Know What’s In Your Background

Most often, job applicants or anyone about to be subjected to a level 2 background check is advised to first know what is in their background.

Attending a job interview and not having a comprehensive knowledge of what is on your background is like driving in the streets with your eyes closed. By having a good knowledge of what your criminal records say, you will know the sort of information to disclose to them.

  1. Expunge a Criminal Record

Depending on your charges and the state in which the crime took place, have in mind that there is a possibility that you can get your record expunged.

This simply means that your arrests and/or convictions would be cleared, and this will take away this obstacle to employment altogether. When you expunge a criminal record in the United States, it is different from having your record sealed, and this removes your charges/convictions from public view, but they could be accessed via a court order.

  1. Research Ahead Of Time

It is also important to know the companies that are more likely to hire felons and which companies will immediately disqualify you for your felony record. To ensure you get the best out of your job search, it is imperative you only apply for jobs that are likely to hire you.

Aside from that, also note that numerous organizations are accorded a tax break by the government when they hire ex-felons. These tax breaks are mainly offered to these businesses when they hire a felon in the first year after the conviction or release.

  1. Build Your Own Business

In the United States, note that there are no limitations if you have the entrepreneurial skills to start and manage a business. Also, note that there are no laws that restrict felons from starting or running their own business.

  1. Find Helpful Organizations

It is recommended you don’t try to find a job alone. Take your time to search for organizations that can help you with the search. In the United States, numerous workforce development centers strive daily to help ex-felons find good jobs. Aside from that, there are numerous online resources to assist you in your job search.

  1. Freelance or Work From Home

In this modern age, there are numerous freelance opportunities to consider. Aside from being bountiful and available, have it in mind that they remain a good way to earn money and criminal background is more or less irrelevant.

There are all types of jobs online, but you should take caution especially since there are several work-from-home scams that require upfront payments. Always remember that you will never have to pay an upfront fee for a job.

  1. References

Also, note that a job offer can be easily obtained if you have strong and valid references. This sort of reference can go a long way with potential employers. Aside from that, a good reference will be able to explain that you were a good worker on previous jobs or projects. A valid and dependable reference can add value to your application by speaking to your character.

  1. Do Not Lie To Your Potential Employer

Always remember that your potential employer will find out what is in your background if they do a background check. If you lied, you will not be getting the job. By being sincere and upfront, you will show your employer that you are a reliable and honest employee.

  1. Get an Education

Note that one of the best things you can do as a felon to increase your skill set and chances in the labor market is to improve your academic background. Consider taking classes to keep your skills up to date, training programs to bolster skills, or completing your GED.

There are numerous jobs in technology that care more about your skills and little about other factors like your criminal or past records.


Since a level 2 background check can show highly sensitive information, both employers and job candidates should have a proper understanding of what is included in each type of background check and how that information can legally be used.

Note that all information provided in a background check is also considered sensitive and subject to very stringent privacy-protection regulations. The use of background checks in connection with hiring decisions is also subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and requirements specified by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).