What Are the 3 Notable Long-Term Consequences of Having a Criminal Record?

A conviction doesn’t just disappear when the defendant has completed their sentence. Instead, it’s on their criminal record and, if they cannot have

A conviction doesn’t just disappear when the defendant has completed their sentence. Instead, it’s on their criminal record and, if they cannot have it expunged, will follow them for many years, impacting much of their life. Some of the biggest consequences those with a criminal record face include the loss of their rights, the impact on their chances for finding employment, and the effect it will have on their finances.

Loss of Certain Rights for Felony Convictions

Those who are convicted of a felony charge will end up losing many of their rights. Most people are aware that felons will lose their rights to vote, to own firearms, and to serve on a jury. They may also lose their rights to hold a private security license, to become a bondsman, to apply for student loans, or to apply for federal jobs. They may also not be able to receive disaster assistance or receive certain business licenses in the future. There are many different rights that those with a felony conviction will give up, beyond the most common ones that many people are aware of today.  A lawyer like one from SkinnerLawFirm may be able to help those who are charged with a felony plead down to a misdemeanour offence, so they do not risk losing all of these rights.

Impact on Employment Opportunities

Any conviction could lead to the defendant losing their current job and having trouble finding employment in the near future. A lot of employers are not going to continue to employ someone who has a criminal record if the arrest happens after the person is hired. Many employers will not hire anyone with a felony conviction on their record, including federal jobs. Depending on the conviction, the person may not be able to work in certain fields regardless of whether it was a misdemeanour or a felony conviction. Potential employers will be able to view the conviction on any background test, so even if the person is not restricted from working in that field, they might find it’s difficult to find a business willing to employ them with a criminal record.

Financial Complications Stemming from Arrest

Being arrested, defending against charges, and being convicted are all incredibly expensive. An arrest can cause the defendant to lose their job, even though they have not gone through court yet. This means they do not have an income anymore and may have trouble affording everything during the court process. Then, they’ll need to hire a lawyer and pay any court fees required. When they are sentenced, they may be required to pay fines as part of their sentence, which can add up quickly. They may also be required to pay restitution, to pay for probation, or to pay to have privileges like a driver’s license restored. If they lost their job because of the arrest or they cannot find a job, it can be very hard to pay all of these expenses without suffering financially.  

If you’ve been arrested, you face more consequences than just the ones imposed during the sentencing if you’re convicted. The impact of an arrest and conviction can follow you for many years. Take the time now to speak with a lawyer about your case to see if any of these consequences can be minimized and to see if it’s possible to avoid a conviction or reduce the charges.