Throndset Michenfelder Law Office LLC
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How will a criminal conviction impact my future?

Criminal convictions can have a negative impact on your life, but this might be true in more ways than you realize. When you think about the consequences of a criminal conviction, there are two general types -- those imposed by the court and those imposed by society.

Court-imposed penalties are the ones that you learn about during the sentencing phase of your case. This can include incarceration, community service, fines, probation and other penalties. The consequences that are imposed by society are known as collateral consequences. These are much different from court-imposed penalties.

What factors come into the picture with collateral consequences?

The type of crime that you were convicted of has a part in what collateral consequences you face. Typically, felony charges have more serious collateral consequences than misdemeanor charges. Violent crime convictions have more serious collateral consequences than non-violent crimes. This is one reason why some people opt to try to find a plea deal that reduces the charges they are facing.

How does the crime affect employment prospects?

Some employers do criminal background checks on the people they intend to hire. If your conviction is one that might impact the business, such as a person with an identity theft conviction applying to work for a financial institution, you might be bypassed for the job even if you are an otherwise perfect fit. If the conviction doesn't have anything to do with the job duties, such as a conviction for vandalism when you are applying for a secretary job, the employer might opt to overlook the conviction on your history.

How else might a criminal conviction impact my life?

Many landlords conduct criminal background checks. This might make it difficult for you to find a place to live. Some criminal convictions, namely drug convictions, can make it difficult or impossible to get student loans or government assistance.

You might also have to deal with people acting strange toward you because of your conviction. Some people might shun you because your criminal history. If the issue was domestic violence, you might have to stay away from the victims. This could impact your family life, especially if your children are included in the court orders.

Many people tend to focus on the court-imposed sentences when they are working a defense. You need to look beyond just the possible sentences so that you have an accurate idea of how a specific conviction might impact your future. Keep all of these impacts in mind as you are working on building your defense strategy.

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