A criminal offense stays on your record and can impact your life in many different ways. Even if the charge is dropped or a trial finds you not guilty, that record remains. In some cases, the record may be removed after some time through an earlier charge expunction from the record, but this is not guaranteed. A criminal offense lawyer like Hobart lawyers can help you out if you need the charges expunged from your record or support with a criminal case.
6 Key Ways a Criminal Record Impacts Your Life
The ways that a criminal record impacts your life include:
A criminal charge on an individual’s record — even without a conviction — can hinder your employability. Prospective employers are legally allowed to investigate your background (background check) and the criminal record appears. During the interview, they can also ask you if you’ve ever faced convictions or criminal charges, including felonies and misdemeanors. You must answer truthfully, whether you were at the crime scene or your name was mentioned, because your records may say otherwise. The company may not hire you based on your criminal record.
2. Child Custody and Child Adoption
A criminal charge on your record can reduce your rights to child custody or the chance of child adoption. If the charge involved is related to domestic abuse, family issues, violent acts, or misdemeanors, your chances become even slimmer. For example, you can’t adopt a child in Texas if you’ve been previously convicted of a misdemeanor involving a family.
3. Driving and Machine Operation Privileges
Persons with criminal records can lose their right to drive or operate a machine, depending on their offense’s severity. For example, criminal records involving alcohol or drugs, such as DWI and DUI, can lead to driving license suspension. You may also undergo a re-training in driving school and drug education before you regain your driving right.
4. Property Renting and Leasing
A criminal record, small or large, is a red flag in your records for landlords. A landlord or property owner may refuse to rent out to you if your record shows a crime that occurred within a period. Most landlords carry out background checks, allowed by law, to know their tenants. Sex offense convictions have no time elapse, and the landlord has the right to refuse to rent the property to you.
5. Travel and Immigration
A criminal record is a red flag for travel and immigration. For instance, you can’t get a green card to enter the U.S. if you have a criminal record. Most countries conduct background and criminal record checks before issuing a Visa. You can’t get a working visa into many countries with a criminal record. They perceive you as a risk to the safety and security of their citizens right from the plane.
6. College Admission
In many countries, a criminal record — even a simple misdemeanor — can limit your college admission chances, including graduate school admission. However, this depends on the particular institution’s policies. A sexual or drug-related criminal record can block your chances of college financial aid. This can hinder your chances of further education and employment.
A criminal offense on your record, with or without a conviction, can impact your life in many ways. Usually, the impacts are negative, such as no travel or immigration, employment, education and more. Minimize any opportunities to get criminal charges on your record or expunged as early as possible.