Beggars can’t be choosers, –is what they say. This is very true for the trucking industry employers. That’s good for some felons, meaning there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and they can be truck drivers after all!
There are trucking companies that hire felons depending on few things like:
- How recent the conviction was;
- What type of felony was;
- How many felony convictions the applicant has.
Further, they have different standards and will hire felons that was convicted:
- 10 years ago, or more;
- 7 years ago, or more;
- 5 years ago;
- Hire felons on case by case;
So, after all, there are trucking companies that hire felons. There are many as a matter of fact!
Few Trucking Companies That Hire Felons
- Melton Truck Lines;
- Swift Transportation;
- Boyd Bros. Transportation;
- Shaffer Trucking;
- Hunt Transportation;
- CR England;
- JB Hunt;
- Knight Transportation;
- TMC Transport.
The trucking company that you apply with is going to take many things into account. Some of them will hire felons with multiple convictions, but keep in mind that the age, the work history and the driving records play an important role in the process.
As I said earlier, it will all depend on what you’ve done and when it happened. Traffic misdemeanors can be worse than a felony conviction for check fraud or minor theft!
Most important is to be honest when you are fill the application and you are called for the interview. If you lie or stretch the truth they will know because they conduct background checks, so you will be rejected from employment. The rejection would not be because of the felony conviction but because you lied.
See, the trucking companies are required by the FMCSA to conduct detailed check on the applicants known as a Pre-Employment Screening (PSP), where they will inspect the applicants’ criminal, employment, address and driving record.
They will go so far that they will inspect each and every applicant, so even people with clear records and no crime and felony charges are subject of investigation.
Do Not Get Disqualified
You can be disqualified if you are trying to hide anything on your application, so play it smart and don’t fall to do these two things:
- Tell the truth on your resume and during your interview;
- Fill the application completely, neatly, and properly.
Few things that can benefit you on the truck driving application process are:
- Fairly steady employment background (prior to the conviction);
- Recent graduation from an approved truck driving school or willing to be trained;
- Any CDL driving experience;
- A fairly clean driving record with no reckless driving conviction.
So as you can see, can felons be truck drivers is a very difficult question. Trucking companies do hire felons, but they have strict regulations when it comes to the charges and the timing when the felony was made.
However, there are some felony convictions that will bar you from employment as a truck driver, like: any felony traffic (vehicle) violations including vehicular manslaughter, and trafficking or distribution of controlled substances, materials or weapons.
What May Disqualify You From Earning a CDL At The Federal Level?
Trucking industry is a field that can create opportunities for many people, including felons.
However, if your criminal and driving history isn’t exactly spotless, you probably fear and wonder if you even qualify for a commercial driver’s license.
Well, your fear is not for nothing though, because some driving problems, police records, prior arrests and criminal issues can very much disqualify you and stop you from starting career in trucking.
Every time someone applies for commercial driver’s license, the DMV will run driving record to ensure that the applicant has not been disqualified from earning it.
In general, there are certain offenses and felonies that will immediately stop you from earning your CDL, but having a police record or prior arrests on your record does not disqualify you from earning your license, it will just make it more difficult.
Few Felonies That May Disqualify You From Earning a CDL At The Federal Level
- Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony;
- Manslaughter in the first or second degree with a motor vehicle;
- Misconduct with a motor vehicle;
- Causing a fatality through negligent/reckless vehicle operation;
- Operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher;
- Assault with intent to murder.
You might not know but each state has its own additional laws when it comes to felonies and convictions, so I will recommend before you apply for your CDL license, check your state’s rules and regulations. I am sure you don’t want to be arrested when you go to apply for your commercial driver’s license!
What If You Have A Warrant For Your Arrest?
Now, can felon be truck drivers is a difficult question itself, but can felons be truck drivers if they have a warrant for arrest, is even more difficult!
If you have outstanding warrant out for your arrest, and felony charges against you, you won’t be able to apply and earn your CDL until the warrant is released.
Now, it will all depend on the felony of course! If your warrant is for traffic tickets or issues, you may not be disqualified, and still be able to take your driving test, CDL air brake test and all the other tests needed, and get your license even with an active warrant.
However, finding a truck-driving job with an active warrant is not that easy. In fact it’s like ‘Mission Impossible’ these days! Pending charges are hard to overcome because most companies will not even look at you until your case is fully settled.