6 Ways a Criminal Conviction May Impact Your Life

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Did you know that even if you are found not guilty at trial when accused of a criminal offense, your record may still contain the criminal charge? As a DUI lawyer from a firm like the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can explain, in many jurisdictions, the same is true even if the charge is dropped before trial. In some cases, you may have to contact a criminal lawyer and petition the court to expunge the records after carrying the accusation on your files for several years. That is why it is so important to understand how a criminal record can haunt you into the future.

1. Custody

When children are involved, the court must rule in their best interest. If you have a criminal record, especially if it involves violence or domestic abuse, the court may take your custody rights away. Whether it is a felony or misdemeanor, the courts must protect the children instead of your parental rights when it comes to criminal history.

2. Weapons

Many states hold that you lose the right to own a firearm if you have a criminal conviction on your record. This is because most criminals are thought to experience recidivist tendencies: They are viewed as at-risk of repeating their criminal behavior. To protect the public, anyone with a felony or Class A misdemeanor is denied the right to carry a weapon.

3. Employment

Today, more than ever before, employers run checks on potential employees before hiring them. Since most employers are reluctant to hire someone with a felony on their record, even if there was no conviction, they may choose not to hire you when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of their company.

4. Housing

Rental and leasing companies also have the right to run background checks on you if you apply to rent their property. If the criminal record is recent or reported as a felony, the landlord can refuse to rent to you.

5. Education

Yes, a criminal record can keep you from getting into the college of your dreams and that graduate school you always wanted to attend. You should also know that both the college and the federal government may restrict your access to financial aid if you have a Class A misdemeanor or felony on your record.

6. Licenses

Depending on the type of license you are applying for, even a misdemeanor conviction can hamper your ability to obtain the document. Even a minor misdemeanor conviction can keep you from getting a healthcare or driver’s license.

The above list does not include all the ways a criminal conviction may impact your life, but it does give you an example of how your record can alter your choice. That is why it is critical to stay in touch with a criminal lawyer and ask about having your criminal record expunged as soon as possible.