Charged with a crime? Your whole future is at stake!
When you are facing criminal charges, you have two kinds of consequences to worry about. The first includes the immediate penalties of a criminal conviction – such as jail time or fines. The second includes the long-term consequences of having a criminal record. In many cases, these long-term consequences of a criminal record are worse than the short-term penalties. A criminal record continues to impact nearly every area of your life. Even if you’re only convicted of a minor crime or never convicted at all, your involvement with the criminal justice system can be stressful for the rest of your life. And unfortunately, so can your interaction with many other areas of society.
When it comes to professional opportunities, even minor criminal offenses on your record could affect the following areas and more:
- Transportation to and from work, and the ability to drive as part of your job. Some crimes – such as DWI convictions – can result in licenses restricted, making commutes more difficult.
- Commercial drivers’ licenses
- Pilots’ licenses
- Nursing licenses
- Fingerprint clearance cards
- Security clearances
- Rights to own a firearm
- Your ability to keep your current job. An employer can fire you if you have to go to court because you’ve been charged with a crime, if you miss work because you’ve been arrested, or even if you’re questioned about a crime and never charged.
- Ability to be hired in the future. Criminal convictions can often make it more difficult for a person to find employment, since most employers require criminal background checks.
- Criminal records can prevent a foreign national from obtaining a green card, becoming a naturalized citizen, or obtaining a change in immigration status, according to Legal Match.
- Your social reputation, including how your current or prospective employers see you. Unfortunately, discrimination against those charged with crimes (even if never convicted) is widespread. Even in cases of wrongful accusation or conviction of crimes, the negative social stigma can last a lifetime.
- Your ability to focus at work or carry out job duties. Studies show that ex-prisoners can develop behaviors that increase social problems when returning to work and life outside prison, such as:
- Hyper-Vigilance – Prison conditions can cause prisoners to adopt behaviors that can lead to self-imposed social isolation, even after release.
- Emotional Distancing – Behaviors developed as a means of protection in prison can lead to an inability to create or maintain personal bonds with others after jail time is served.
- Guilt and Shame. Research by the Association for Psychological Science shows that while a guilty or apologetic attitude may result in a lower likelihood of committing additional crimes in the future, defensive reactions to feelings of shame can result in blaming others for problems.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prison can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to MoneyCrashers, common symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness, hyper-arousal, difficulty sleeping, unexpected outbursts of anger, and overwhelming feelings of anxiety or guilt. All these symptoms can impact your ability to work productively.
These are just a sampling of the ways a criminal charge or conviction in Orlando, FL could negatively impact your wellbeing for the rest of your life.
Beyond Your Professional Life
Besides impacting your ability to have a job you enjoy or the salary you want, the impacts of a criminal record go far beyond your professional life. For example, criminal charges and convictions can also limit your child custody rights. Your family life could be affected! And additional criminal charges can result in more severe penalties and sentencing if a person already has a criminal record on file. Imagine the stress of worrying about even a minor charge such as a traffic violation. Your professional life influences your personal life and your personal life influences your professional life, and a criminal record influences almost everything.
How Can You Change This?
There’s still time to turn your life around. According to LegalMatch, one of the best things you can do for your future wellbeing is to hire a qualified attorney to fight to have your charges reduced or dropped, or your record cleared.
If you’re charged with a criminal offense, work with one of Florida’s most experienced criminal defense attorneys to try to get your charges dropped or reduced. Don’t miss your opportunity to invest in a better future with more opportunities!
If you’re facing the life-altering implications of a criminal record in Orlando, FL, Donald A. Lykkebak is the criminal defense attorney you can trust! Call 407-425-4044 or contact us online for a free consultation.
The Law Office of Donald A. Lykkebak
250 S. Park Avenue, Suite 200
Winter Park, FL 32789