I work for a financial institution. Do I have to tell them that I got arrested?

If you work for a financial institution, you've probably had to answer this question: "Have you been convicted at any time of a crime involving fraud, dishonest, breach of trust, or money laundering, or agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such offense?"

The financial industry is highly regulated. Federal law requires that financial institutions screen their employees (and potential employees) for crimes involving dishonesty. If you answer yes to the question, you will almost certainly be fired. Many institutions required you to answer this question every year.

A crime involving dishonest can be nearly anything. Crimes as minimal as misdemeanor shoplifting will cause a financial institution to fire you (or face stiff penalties). And because diversion counts as a conviction under federal law for this purpose, usually the only way to save your job is to convince the prosecutor to amend the charges to a crime not involving dishonesty and plead guilty--or take the case to trial and win.

If you're facing this situation, feel free to call me. I'm happy to chat about the regulations and figure out your options.