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  • Criminal Defense
  • / 4.29.2024

The Consequences of a Criminal Record

How A Record Can Impact Your Life

Arrests and convictions can leave a lasting mark on your life.  While you may have served your time, the consequences of a criminal record can linger, affecting your employment opportunities, housing options, and even your ability to obtain professional licenses.  

At Durak Law Firm in Franklin, Tennessee, we understand the challenges faced by individuals with criminal records. Attorney Michal Durakiewicz has extensive experience in criminal defense, and our entire team is committed to helping each and every one of our clients navigate the legal system and minimize the impact of a criminal record.

But what are the most notable ways that your life might change if you are convicted of a crime? Here are some common struggles that come with a conviction.

Employment Roadblocks

A criminal record can be a significant hurdle in the job market. Many employers conduct background checks, and a criminal record can lead to automatic disqualification, even for minor offenses. This can limit your career options and make it difficult to find work that matches your skills and experience.

One of the most important aspects of your life after a sentence is to rehabilitate and re-introduce yourself back into life as you once knew it. This is especially true if you served time, but it can be nearly impossible if you are not able to obtain a dependable job. 

Housing Challenges

Finding safe and affordable housing can be another hurdle with a criminal record. Landlords often conduct background checks, and a criminal history can lead to rejection of your application. This can force you into unstable housing situations, further impacting your life.

Before you start to blame the predatory rental market, there are plenty of problems in buying as well. Even if you are able to save enough money to afford a down payment to buy your own home, Some mortgage lenders do look at an applicant's criminal record, and can deny you or offer you less attractive terms based on your criminal background.

Loss of Professional Licenses

Depending on the profession, a criminal record may prevent you from obtaining or renewing a professional license. This can be particularly devastating for individuals whose careers depend on such licenses, like doctors, teachers, or accountants.

Even if you do not lose your license outright, you could be suspended or put on probation for your conviction. This often gives your employer grounds to terminate you and gives potential employers more than enough reason not to hire you. 

Educational Limitations

Certain educational opportunities, particularly those involving federal financial aid, may be restricted by a criminal record. This can limit your ability to pursue higher education and hinder your chances of career advancement.

Statistically, those with higher educational levels are less likely to get caught up in criminal activity. So it makes very little sense to deny access to affordable secondary education because a person has a criminal record. Unfortunately, this is the case as it stands now and you could lose college funding if you are found guilty to any number of crimes. 

Social Stigma

Beyond the tangible consequences, a criminal record can carry a social stigma. You may face judgment and discrimination from friends, family, and even strangers. This can lead to feelings of isolation and shame. 

Criminal trials are hard enough without the added emotional damage of relationships strains and drama. 

Remedies and Mitigation Strategies

All of that sounds terrible, right? If you are about to face your first criminal charge, you might be able to avoid this altogether. If you are already living with a record, however, it can be more difficult. While a criminal record can have serious consequences, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact:

  • Expungement or Record Sealing:  In some cases, depending on the state and the nature of the offense, you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged or sealed. This essentially hides the record from public view, making it much less likely to affect your job search or other aspects of your life.  Durak Law Firm can advise you on the eligibility for expungement or record sealing in Tennessee.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements:  For certain employment opportunities, you may be able to negotiate a non-disclosure agreement with a potential employer. This agreement would prevent them from disclosing your criminal record to third parties.
  • Building a Positive Reputation:  Focus on building a positive reputation through volunteer work, community involvement, and strong work performance. This can demonstrate your commitment to rehabilitation and personal growth.
  • Education and Training:  Consider pursuing further education or training to enhance your job skills and qualifications. This can make you a more competitive candidate and help to offset the negative impact of a criminal record.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you are facing criminal charges, it is crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges, negotiate a plea bargain, or work towards getting your record expunged or sealed.  Attorney Michal Durakiewicz at Durak Law Firm has a proven track record of success in defending clients facing criminal charges.

Durak Law Firm: Your Tennessee Criminal Defense Ally

A criminal record does not have to define you. With the right legal guidance and a commitment to personal growth, you can overcome the challenges associated with a criminal record and build a successful future. At Durak Law Firm, we are here to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights

If you have questions about the consequences of a criminal record or need legal representation, contact Durak Law Firm in Franklin, Tennessee.  We offer free consultations to discuss your case. Call us at (615) 812-2829 or visit our website to learn more.

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