Perhaps you have never given it much thought, but charges as seemingly simple as DUI can haunt you for the rest of your life. Yes, maybe you were slightly tipsy when you were arrested and charged with that crime. Maybe you paid the least of fines and were never jailed. However, the charge goes straight into your criminal record and stays there until you formally apply to get an expunction.
Few people care to seek out expunctions. This is because not many people know the adverse effects of having a criminal record. Criminal records interfere with all aspects of your life, ranging from financial, psychological and even social.
Here are five ways a criminal record may affect your life.
How a Criminal Record May Affect Your Life
1. May Affect Subsequent Cases
When passing judgment in court cases, the judges and jury often look through the defendant’s criminal record. If the person has ever been convicted of a crime before, this may tip the scales against them. In most cases, first-time offenders get a more lenient sentence than offenders with soiled criminal records.
2. May Interfere with Child Custody
One of the hardest things about divorce is deciding which of the parents gets custody over their children. This can be a very spirited and contentious argument that may lead to the couple seeking a court ruling on who gets to stay with their children.
When making this decision, one of the major factors the court will consider is both parents’ criminal records. If you have a negative criminal record, the high chances are that you may lose child custody to the other parent who has a clean criminal record.
3. Trouble with Immigration
If you are a foreign national seeking to get a green card, become a naturalized citizen, or seeking to change your immigration status, having a negative criminal record may interfere with your chances of doing that.
The immigration department always runs background checks on everyone who applies for citizenship and change of immigration status within the country. They do not grant citizenship to people with a history of crime. You should also note that some countries will even deny you entry into their borders depending on what crimes you have committed. This may be a bummer if you nurse the dreams of vacationing in a country of your choice.
4. May Interfere with Employment
No employer wants troublesome employees on his team. These employees’ liabilities are not only liabilities, but they could also bring legal trouble to the company when they least expect it. For these reasons, most employers take extra caution when vetting the candidates that see employment in their company. Anyone with a record of criminal activities is likely to be turned down and the opportunity given to someone with a clean record.
5. You May Lose Your Driving Privileges
If you are arrested and charged with a traffic crime such as speeding or driving under the influence, the judge will use your criminal records as a reference when passing the verdict on your case. If you have a history of breaking traffic laws, you may lose your drivers license for a certain period as punishment.
Get Rid of Your Criminal Record
The list of ways that criminal records may affect your life can not be quickly exhausted. Fortunately, with the help of a good lawyer, you can potentially get these erased from your record.
Although some crimes cannot be erased, most of them can be sealed from public access if you follow the proper expunction processes. If you are not sure about your chances of getting an expunction, contact a lawyer today.