A criminal conviction carries many immediate negative consequences: arrest, house arrest, probation, fines, and jail time are just a few of the obstacles those convicted face. However, individuals with both misdemeanor and felony convictions face a lifetime of consequences that can negatively impact many aspects of their lives including their ability to find employment, be approved for government assistance, receive loans, or obtain housing. As long as these convictions remain on their records, it is difficult for those with a criminal history to live the life that they envisioned for themselves and their families.
There are three aspects of employment that are impacted by a criminal record. First, depending on the conviction, those with a criminal history may have difficulty finding employers who are willing to hire them. A person will be required to disclose criminal history on a job application. Application questions will differ depending on the type of employment sought. For example, an applicant could be questioned on whether he or she has been convicted of any crime (misdemeanor or felony), convicted only of a felony or if arrested for any offense? Many employers also run a full background check to ensure that the applicant hasn’t attempted to hide past criminal convictions. Once a conviction is disclosed or discovered, oftentimes the applicant is automatically disqualified without the opportunity to interview and explain the circumstances surrounding their history.
Second, a criminal conviction may cause the employer to dismiss the employee, for the same reason that, had the conviction been present at the time of application, they would have been found to be ineligible for hiring. Past positive reviews or a lengthy term of employment will not prevent an employee from being fired if the company’s policy states that those with a criminal history cannot retain their jobs.
Third, someone with a criminal history may find that they are ineligible for the employment that they have spent years preparing for through on-the-job training or college courses. These workers are often forced to take more remedial employment that is well below their level of skills and education, ruining their hopes of a future career and receiving far less compensation than they had anticipated.
Eligibility for the majority of government programs is voided when the applicant has a criminal history. For instance, in some states, felony convictions or any drug-related charges can prevent an applicant from being approved for food assistance programs. Similar restrictions may exist for government housing, as well as state-funded programs designed to help the disadvantaged. Ineligibility for government assistance can be a serious burden, especially for those that have faced a lengthy incarceration period and need financial help reestablishing themselves in society.
Having a criminal conviction can prevent you from obtaining both private and federal loans. Many individuals with criminal histories find themselves unable to receive student aid for college, mortgages, or personal loans from private institutions. Without the ability to borrow money when needed, it is difficult for these individuals to obtain the level of prosperity and success of their peers.
In addition to being unable to receive government housing or obtain a mortgage, those with criminal convictions can be restricted as to where they can live. For instance, those with sex-related crimes who are part of the sex offender registry are unable to live in certain areas where children are present, such as schools or daycares. Further, when the criminal conviction results in probation, individuals cannot move to another city or state without prior permission from the Court. Finally, many landlords will reject rental applications where one of the prospective tenants has a criminal history, especially if the convictions involve violence or drugs.
If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor charge, you must do everything in your power to defend yourself from conviction. Contact the qualified criminal defense team at The Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi for a consultation today.