A conviction carries with it severe criminal consequences, including jail time, fines, community service or loss of driving privileges. However, individuals might quickly learn that having a criminal record brings additional challenges even after incarceration or probation has ended.

What are four disadvantages of having a criminal record?

  • Difficulty finding a job: Both felonies and misdemeanors can create occupational challenges. Depending on the charge, however, potential employers might be frightened of your personality and the possibility of an aggressive outburst. Additionally, having a criminal record can preclude you from obtaining a security clearance that might be necessary for the position.
  • Difficulty finding housing: A criminal record can dramatically impact your ability to be approved for safe, affordable rental housing. This effect can cross into other parts of your life, however. If you are battling for child custody or visitation rights, for example, a judge might be unwilling to approve the divorce decree until you can find a safer place to live.
  • Difficulty furthering your education: Certain offenses can make it difficult to obtain educational grants or loans. While this might not be a permanent effect, these restrictions can certainly delay your ability to attain an advanced degree.
  • Difficulty obtaining a professional license: Professional licensure is not a requirement for every occupation, but many have this stipulation. The medical field, for example, or nursing, dentistry, teaching, accounting and law might require an individual to have a license that is difficult or impossible to obtain with a criminal record.

Additionally, those with a criminal record might find restrictions on their ability to own a firearm or vote. It is crucial to have a skilled defender on your side from the very start of the legal process. Further, a defense attorney can discuss your options as they relate to sealing a record or getting it expunged.