More people have a criminal record than you may think. Anything from a small misdemeanor all the way to a full-on arrest has a significant impact on your record and can change your life. Read on to learn about all the ways a criminal record impacts your life.
Unfortunately, one of the most significant ways a criminal record can hurt you is in your ability to find a job. Employers can turn away candidates based on a criminal record, regardless of the conviction. They can discover your criminal record through a background check or just by noticing your absence of employment history. Even when your conviction is not related to drugs or violence, your criminal record impacts how employers perceive you as an employee. Some employers may take a chance on you, but finding one will take some time.
If you are going through a divorce, you may need to figure out child custody. You can solve this sort of thing amicably, but often it goes to a court where the judge will consider various factors to determine the best situation for the child(ren). A criminal record will affect child custody because it is one of the factors that the judge considers. Criminal records hurt your ability to get custody of children, but the judge will also consider the nature of the conviction and how old the conviction is. Older, non-violent offenses are less likely to hurt your chances than if you are a repeat offender.
In addition to struggling to find a job or obtain custody, you will have some other rights limited. These limitations vary from state to state, but some federal restrictions exist. For example, you cannot serve as a juror or run for public office if you have a criminal conviction. You may not have wanted to, but now you definitely can’t. You also cannot legally own a firearm or vote.
Limitations like these can be alarming for many since they never knew about these limitations. Some career paths require licenses and certifications you cannot get with a criminal record. You cannot enter into real estate, insurance, the medical field, or even become a social worker.
A criminal record impacts your life in many ways, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once people learn you have a criminal record, they start to treat you differently, even when it is in no way a reflection of who you are today. Hopefully, with this new perspective, you’ll understand how important it is to abide by the law.