The ramifications of an arrest stretch beyond time you may serve or fines you may have to pay. They can also tarnish your reputation, and your good name is one of the most important things that you own. If you’re convicted, it can stay on your permanent record, and this carries a stigma. It also makes it easy for people to search for records online and find out about that conviction with little effort. You may feel like you can never escape it.
This is just one reason that you need to explore all of your legal defense options. Getting out of a conviction or even reducing the charges can drastically change how this impacts the rest of your life.
How can a conviction harm your future?
A conviction starts harming your future immediately if you have to spend time in jail, as you lose time at work, time with your family or time running your company. You can’t get that back. Even after things return to normal, though, a conviction can:
- Keep you from getting a job, as about 90% of employers consider convictions when hiring.
- Impact your credit and your ability to take out loans.
- Make it harder to find a place to live or rent a home or apartment.
- Make it more difficult to get into school and improve your education.
- Impact your personal relationships, such as your relationship with your spouse, your children and your close friends.
If you’re a public figure, even locally, your reputation can also take a severe hit from a conviction. You may be able to return to a company that you own, for example, but will consumers be wary of making purchases?
Thinking about the future
When you think about pleading guilty, you need to consider all of this. Yes, it may feel like a fast solution, especially if you won’t go to jail. But are you really going to find that your entire life has been altered by that decision? You need to know what options you have and carefully think through each one with your legal team.