THE IMPACT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD
People who have been charged or convicted of a crime can face many consequences as a result of their criminal background. Many of these consequences are related to our legal system, such as time served in jail or prison, steep fines, community service, probation and any other punishments handed out by the state. However, there are also many other types of consequences that a person might encounter.
When you are charged with or convicted of a crime, you will be denied many opportunities that most of us take for granted. These are considered “collateral consequences” of criminal charges. In some ways, these consequences can have effects that are just as difficult to overcome as the potential penalties you are facing. Your criminal record will be subject to scrutiny in many walks of life, including...
- Employment – When you are searching for a job, your background will be reviewed by potential employers. The existence of a criminal record can greatly impact your ability to get the job you are seeking. Your record could prompt you to seek a job offering far less lucrative opportunities. In some cases, your current employment could be affected by the charges made against you. If you have served prison or jail time, you will face added hurdles when looking for gainful employment, as you will have been out of the workforce for the duration of your sentence.
- Education – If you are applying for entrance into a college or university, your application can be denied because of your record. Some institutions are more discerning than others, so you might be forced to seek educational opportunities that fall short of the goals you would be able to obtain had it not been for your criminal background. You might also face expulsion from your current educational program.
- Loans and Financial – Applying for a loan or other forms of financial assistance can be more difficult for people that have criminal records. Not only could you be denied financial opportunities you would otherwise be granted, your finances will also be impacted by the fines you must pay as punishment for any crimes you have been convicted of. If the charges against you have resulted in termination from your job or affected your income, these challenges will be even more difficult to navigate.
- Housing – Just like educational and financial opportunities, housing can be denied because of a criminal history. This is particularly true if the charges against you involved violent crimes or drug-related crimes. In addition to the direct impact a record could have on housing opportunities, the financial consequences of your charges could have an indirect impact on the housing available.