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How a criminal record can harm someone’s career

Posted by Bulldog Law | Apr 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

There are many ways that getting arrested can affect someone's finances. Financial penalties are common regardless of the type of offense alleged, as many criminal statutes allow judges to impose fines. They can also order defendants to pay others restitution in some cases.

Many people also experience career setbacks related to criminal convictions. While many people may have the initial impulse to plead guilty to a pending criminal charge, their instincts might lead them the wrong way. People worry about missing work for trial and may believe that a guilty plea limits the attention drawn by criminal accusations. The reality is that a guilty plea puts someone at a major disadvantage and could potentially affect their career in a number of ways.

Employers may have zero-tolerance policies

Companies sometimes have restrictions in their employee handbooks or work contracts that allow for the termination of workers who break the law while employed. Such policies can lead to someone losing their job as soon as an employer finds out about their conviction. Even if someone doesn't immediately lose their job, they may struggle to qualify for new positions elsewhere or internal advancement opportunities due to their criminal record.

Secondary career consequences are possible

Even if someone avoids termination due to a criminal conviction, their career could still be at risk. For example, many of the better-paid professions require licensing from state authorities. Maintaining a license typically involves avoiding criminal prosecution. Many state licensing authorities can revoke a license as part of disciplinary proceedings after someone pleads guilty or gets convicted. Licensing boards can also refuse to renew a license after uncovering a conviction during a background check as part of the renewal process.

Certain offenses might lead to the loss of someone's driver's license or put them on probation, complicating their ability to perform certain job functions, such as travel for work. The unfortunate reality is that those with criminal records often have lower incomes than those who have not previously violated the law.

A single mistake can haunt someone for years and significantly alter their economic prospects. Employers may not hire or promote those who have broken the law. Educational institutions may also decline to offer enrollment or financial aid to those with prior criminal records. The most effective means of limiting the harmful impact of a recent arrest is a thorough successful defense against criminal allegations. Avoiding a criminal conviction can protect someone's finances and their eligibility for opportunities in the future.

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