When you face criminal charges, you probably want the easiest way out of the situation. Does that mean pleading guilty and accepting the consequences to avoid lengthy court trials and high legal fees? Does it mean not bothering to face minor misdemeanors because they are not worth it? Maybe you think that because you are innocent, you have no need to worry.
As you decide on how to respond, be aware of how criminal convictions, or even just an arrest, can affect various aspects of your life. It may not seem fair, but even a petty offense can lead to long-term consequences you did not think of. If you doubt the value of fighting your criminal charges, take a look at the impact they will have on just these three areas.
Whether or not you receive a conviction, your involvement in the criminal justice system may cause you to lose your job due to the damage to your reputation or that of the company you work for. Having a criminal record will make it challenging to find new employment, as your history is public information any employer can find during a background check. Certain jobs, such as those that require professional licensing or handling finances, may be permanently off the table for you.
Perhaps you want to go back to school to further your education or start a new avenue of work. You may experience issues with admittance, financial aid and options in your studies as your employment opportunities may now be limited. These hurdles to life improvement are often what keep people in the criminal cycle instead of getting out.
Something as basic as a need for a place to live should not be a problem, but unfortunately, a criminal past can cause landlords to reject your applications. If you want to buy your own home, you may have trouble securing loans. Even selling your home can be difficult if the public knows that your residence was the place of criminal activity. You can avoid many of these difficulties by fighting your charges with the help of a lawyer.