Experienced Nashville Defense Firm

Understanding Tennessee’s Fresh Start Act

At the Law Office of Rob McKinney in Tennessee, we know how difficult it can be for someone with a criminal record to obtain employment. If you are such a person, you will be glad to know that the Tennessee Legislature passed the Fresh Start Act in September of this year that should make it substantially easier for you to find a decent job.

As reported by the Johnson City Press, the Fresh Start bill had strong bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats alike. In addition, organizations such as the following also supported it:

  • The Tennessee Coalition for Sensible Justice
  • The Tennessee County Services Association
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee
  • The Tennessee Association of Goodwill
  • The Beacon Center of Tennessee
  • The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Occupational licensing

Over 100 job categories in Tennessee require that you obtain a license before performing the work involved. Prior to passage of the Fresh Start Act, the various professional and occupational licensing boards that grant those licenses could deny you one if you have a criminal record. The Act’s passage changes all that. This means that you can now work in Tennessee as an HVAC installer, plumbing contractor, pest control employee and in numerous other blue-color type jobs. The respective boards cannot deny you a license unless your conviction was for a violent felony or one directly relating to your ability to perform the job for which you need the license.

Statistics show that approximately 5,000 convicted felons return to their communities each year, all of them needing jobs. If you are one of them, thanks to the Fresh Start Act, you should find it much easier to obtain the job you desire. You may also wish to consider getting your criminal record expunged.

For more information, please visit this page of our website.