Often when a person is charged with a crime they are filled with anxiety and concern about what is going to happen in the near term, civil consequences also need to be considered in the long-term. One of the questions that we are most often asked is “am I going to go to jail?”, and while this is a very important question to address, there are often other issues beyond whether or not someone is going to be incarcerated, that people need to be aware of when dealing with any sort of matter that may result in a criminal conviction. The consequences that are associated with a criminal conviction, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor offense, can be lifelong civil consequences that place limits on future life choices.
Many potential employers ask future employees whether or not they have a criminal record on the employment application. While many employers may be willing to look past certain criminal offenses, often times the type of the offense, no matter the severity, can render someone ineligible for employment. We frequently receive calls from individuals who have misdemeanor theft convictions (a relatively minor offense) on their records, asking us for help in removing the conviction from their record, because they have been turned down from one job after another.
Another important point to take into consideration is licensing issues for employment. It is quite common that many professions require professional licensing in order to work in a certain field. While an employer may not have an issue with a criminal conviction, the licensing agency may and ultimately prohibit a person from obtaining the necessary license for their career. Individuals whose jobs require that they obtain a government-issued license, certificate or registration could be at risk of being denied these things due to the type of criminal conviction. Additionally, individuals who work for companies that receive government contracts are also at risk of losing employment depending on the nature of their criminal conviction.
If you or someone you know has a pending criminal case, the above-mentioned information is just one of many reasons why it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. It is far easier to avoid future issues with employment-related consequences from the very beginning rather than after years go by, to try and go back and remedy the issue.