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Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
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How a Criminal Record Can Affect You

If you plead guilty to a criminal offense, or if a jury finds you guilty of a crime and you are convicted, you will have a criminal record, which lasts indefinitely. While there are “criminal consequences” to having a criminal record, such as court-ordered fines, driver’s license suspension, probation, community service, and incarceration, there are also “collateral consequences,” which refer to other restrictions imposed upon people who have criminal records.

Such restrictions (collateral consequences) put up barriers in the areas of: voting, education, employment, housing, as well as other desirable opportunities. In some cases, even an “arrest” that does not turn into a conviction can have “collateral consequences.”

For example, some employers may not hire someone who has been arrested. Or, a college may not give a scholarship to a student who’s been arrested for something such as sexual assault, drug trafficking, or identity theft because the charges alone lead the school to believe the student is a “questionable character.”

How Can a Criminal Record Affect Me?

Beyond the penalties imposed by the State of California for a crime, let’s take a look at the other ways a criminal record can affect you:

  • Employment: Since many employers require job applicants to disclose arrests or convictions, often a job applicant will not be hired due to their criminal record.
  • Housing: A criminal record can affect one’s ability to rent an apartment or house.
  • Child custody: In the midst of a child custody battle, a criminal conviction can tip the scales in the other parent’s favor.
  • Education: Students can be denied entry into colleges because of their criminal record.
  • Driving: A conviction can lead to a driver’s license suspension.
  • Firearms: A felony conviction or conviction for domestic violence can mean the defendant loses his or her firearm privileges.
  • Mobility: While on probation or parole, an offender can be restricted in where they can go.
  • Travel: While on probation or parole, offenders can be barred from state-to-state and international travel.
  • Athletics: College athletes can be kicked off teams for being convicted of a crime.
  • Security clearance: Applicants can be denied security clearance due to criminal convictions.
  • Professional licenses: Professional licenses, such as real estate licenses, notary licenses, nursing licenses and others can be denied or cancelled due to a criminal conviction.
  • Future criminal charges: With a prior criminal conviction, any future conviction would subject the defendant to stiffer penalties and sentencing.

If you, or someone you love is facing criminal charges in Orange County, it’s important to fight the charges for a favorable outcome. The long-term or “collateral consequences” are real and all too often people fail to consider them. For the skilled defense your situation demands, contact us today!