A criminal conviction can certainly have an immediate effect on your life, in that you may have to pay fines or spend time behind bars. Even if you are just in jail for a very short time, it can have a major impact on your reputation, and that is certainly something that most people are trying to avoid.
But it’s also important to consider the long-term potential impacts of having a conviction on your record. Even after the jail time and fines are long behind you, this can still change your life in a few ways.
It may be harder to get a job
For one thing, it can be much more difficult to get a job when you have a criminal record. You will not even be legally allowed to do certain jobs. For instance, if you have a felony on your record, then you cannot possess a firearm. This means that certain jobs that require carrying a firearm would be off of the table entirely.
Plus, many employers will run background checks, and they can discriminate against those who have a criminal record. Employers will sometimes get an application from two different people who have virtually identical qualifications. But if one person has a record and the other does not, the employer will tend toward the person without one.
Other potential impacts
Depending on the type of record you have, you may not be able to travel to certain countries. You may also find it harder to get accepted to college. If you’re trying to rent an apartment or get a home mortgage, your criminal history could impact your financial options.
In other words, a conviction can have a major impact on your life moving forward. This is why it’s so important to understand all of your legal options.