Few events have the potential to cause more interruption in your life than a criminal prosecution. After all, if a judge or jury convicts you, you may face a variety of serious legal penalties. Depending on the nature of the offense, these may include incarceration, fines, probation and loss of rights.
Regrettably, there are many collateral consequences that often come with criminal charges. Upon conviction or the acceptance of a guilty plea, you may be vulnerable to one or more of the following three consequences.
1. Academic discipline
Obtaining a four-year degree is a common way to achieve the American dream, as those with bachelor’s degrees earn an average of approximately $26,000 more per year than high school graduates. Sadly, a criminal conviction may trigger academic discipline, including loss of scholarships, suspension or even expulsion.
2. Professional license suspension
If you work as an attorney, doctor, counselor or another type of professional, you probably have a license. While some criminal offenses may have little effect on your license, others may cause you to lose it. Furthermore, obtaining permission to work in your chosen field after a suspension or termination of your professional license may be an uphill battle.
3. Employment challenges
Most employers conduct pre-employment background checks to be certain applicants are suitable for jobs. If you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record, you may have an exceedingly difficult time landing your dream job. At a minimum, you may have an awkward interview.
Ultimately, because of the catastrophic collateral consequences that often accompany criminal charges, it may be in your future interests to develop a smart defense strategy.