Many people in San Antonio do not realize the importance of maintaining a clean criminal record. Some individuals who already have charges and convictions may feel that they do not have any recourse to clear their records. Others are in the process of doing things that can lead to criminal charges and convictions. They do not realize how much of an impact their criminal records have on their lives. Often, arrests are just as damaging as convictions.
Even if you do not have a criminal record, you should review why it is so important for you to protect it.
Society is not very forgiving
The criminal justice system treats all offenders as innocent until convicted. An arrest alone is not sufficient cause for a conviction. However, much of society is not very accepting of people who have an arrest on their record. Many people assume that individuals who have an arrest record and a criminal accusation are guilty. Many family members, friends and employers do not follow the “innocent until proven guilty” principle. For example, you may face a false accusation of domestic violence for which the police arrested you.
Even if the charges are later dropped, you now have an arrest in your criminal history that is discoverable to the public. Your friends, family and coworkers may treat you differently. Potential employers may pass you up for workers who do not have arrests for domestic violence in their criminal backgrounds.
A bad criminal record has a long-term impact
Arrests, charges that are pending and dismissed, and convictions can make it harder for you to get ahead in life. Just like a bad credit score, a criminal charge can limit the number of opportunities you have access to. As time goes on, assuming that you have no future run-ins with the law, the impact of past arrests and convictions does diminish. However, you may still find yourself having to provide explanations to potential employers, relationship partners and others.
Do not think lightly of your situation if you are ever arrested and accused of a crime. Do what is necessary to protect your record. No matter how minor the criminal offense may seem, it can have legal, personal, employment and other repercussions on your life.