When you face minor criminal charges, you may not think it is a big deal, especially if you maintain your innocence or the evidence against you is weak. However, even if you do not end up with a conviction, having a criminal record has consequences that reach beyond the courtroom for many years.
These are just a few things you may have to deal with if you get involved in the legal system. The best measure you can take to minimize these negative effects is to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side from the start.
Even unproven suspicions of criminal activity can cause problems at work. Depending on the nature of your job, charges of fraud, embezzlement or drunk driving may lead to work restrictions, temporary suspension or permanent job loss. If you have to obtain new employment, your criminal record will show up in background checks, limiting your opportunities. You can seek an expungement for certain convictions, but there is no guarantee you will receive it.
Driving and insurance
If your charges have no connection to driving, you may not think they will affect that aspect of your life. However, DWI is not the only crime that influences your driving privileges and insurance costs. Losing your license can make getting to work difficult, and losing your job will make it harder to pay for higher insurance once you can drive again.
Depending on the type and severity of the charges, you may also have to face the breakup of your family. Your spouse could file for divorce, leading to even more legal fees, court dates and life consequences. Even if you are innocent, simple suspicion is enough to make some spouses want to leave. Your children may also not know what or who to believe and may lose trust in you or the other parent. Relationships with other family members and friends may also become strained by the charges against you.