It goes without saying that not having a criminal record is better than having one. But while most people appreciate that a criminal record is a serious issue, not many people fully understand why. The impacts of a criminal record on an individual’s life can be extreme, depending on the nature of the crime in question. Whether you have a criminal record or not, you should know what they entail.
Losing Existing Employment
One of the most serious and immediate potential impacts of having a criminal record is the loss of your existing employment. In some cases, you will be legally obligated to inform employers about the nature of your criminal record, and they might have no choice but to let you go. Naturally, some employers are more forgiving than others in this regard – although there will be situations where they don’t have any say in the matter and will be legally obligated to terminate your employment.
Note that your criminal conviction doesn’t have to relate directly to the work that you do in order for it to cost you your job. Equally, just because a conviction is relevant to the job that you do, your employer isn’t required to terminate you on that basis.
Another potential factor to consider is your sentencing. If your crime results in prison time, that can mean you are forced to give up your current job. Even if you are only ordered to complete community service, this might throw a spanner in the works and make your current position untenable.
If you are convicted of a felony, the sentence that you receive can impact your professional life. Not only can it affect you in the ways outlined above, but it can also keep you from pursuing the training and career progression opportunities that would enable you to augment your earning power significantly. If you were hoping to enroll at college and study for a new degree to add to your existing repertoire, a criminal record can end up being a very difficult barrier to overcome.
Even if the university or college that you apply to is happy to take you on, you might face serious difficulties in securing funding. For anyone planning on applying for a student loan to fund their studies, a criminal record can affect your eligibility. If you are already receiving some form of student loan, being incarcerated will render you ineligible for future payments.
Restrictions on Your Ability to Work
Perhaps the most important way that having a criminal record can affect your career plans is by restricting the type of work and roles that you are able to apply for. There are many professions that are legally unable to hire people who have been convicted of certain crimes and others that will not hire anyone with a criminal record, irrespective of the details. There are also some parts of the US where unions have made it all but impossible for local industries to hire convicted felons to fill roles.
If you are given a criminal record, it is important that you establish the exact details of it as soon as possible. Not only do you need to know exactly what crime you have been convicted of, but you need to understand exactly how it will affect your future career prospects. There is no sense in expending time and energy working towards a job that you’re going to be ineligible for anyway.
Judgment records are a little bit different from a criminal record, but they are very similar in nature. Your judgment records will contain information about any court cases that you have been involved in and the outcome of any judgments that were made in the case. Needless to say, this information is often highly personal and isn’t the kind of thing that you would want any curious person to be able to access. However, judgment records are immediately and readily available.
You can use Public Records Review to search for judgment records online. Public Records Reviews enable anyone to instantly perform an online search that includes a number of publicly available databases. You can search for indictment records, lawsuit records, and other legal records. Judgment records often contain information about events that the subject would rather forget, but this can be difficult when judgments are so easily accessible to anyone who wants to check them. Fortunately, there are federal regulations in place to protect data subjects from having their data used against them unfairly. Whereas criminal records concern criminal cases, judgment records can include details of civil cases and other issues that come before the court.
Landing yourself a criminal record can have a serious, long-term impact on your career prospects. As well as potentially damaging your chances of finding stable, long-term employment, a criminal record can also cost you the job or career that you already have. If you want to know more about your criminal record, you can check local and state records by applying to the appropriate police department. If you do have a record, it is important that you fully understand its implications, especially with regard to your future career prospects.