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How a Criminal Record Affects Your Life?

05 September, 2018

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Whenever people think of committing a crime, they are afraid of going to jail. However, there is something worse than incarceration; it’s living with a criminal record. Yes, even if you committed a minor crime, your life will be upside down. This criminal record will change the course of your life.

A Criminal Record can make your life unbearable. This is why most criminals commit suicide after their release. However, some deal with the situation in a sensible way and try to delete the record. Yes, they hire a Criminal Attorney to help erase their criminal history.


The law imposes criminal penalties on specific crimes. These laws cover everything from traffic violations to violent crimes. You can get convicted for selling, importing, manufacturing, possessing or using illegal products.

Criminal laws apply to your every action. Federal Authorities presume everyone has constructive knowledge of the law.  Therefore, they can’t defend themselves with ignorance.

Know the Law

Criminal laws involve from time to time, and new laws end up creating new crimes, they can also change previous crime statutes. Law Enforcement agencies amend regulations and impose criminal sanctions to enforce these laws. The court interprets these always and issues rulings that change how these laws are enforced and how they affect the masses.

It’s hard to assess how many crimes exist today. It’s almost impossible to come up with a definitive number.

Are you a Criminal?

Your freedom and rights are not secured even if you “believe” you haven’t done anything wrong. Most people don’t know how they have violated the law which imposed a penalty. Yes, they don’t know if they did anything when investigated. The situation is so bad that a journal was released says that every adult can be incarcerated for at least one minor offense.

This begs the question if everyone is punished for breaking the law, how it would affect their lives. Following we will try to answer that.

Criminal Penalties

The financial costs of being charged with a crime is a factor, despite whatever the outcome. Depending on whether you are convicted or not, and what penalties you face, there are several things you should understand. Following, we are going to help you out

Different penalties can lead to a criminal conviction. People who are convicted of a minor offense face substantial penalties whereas people committing felonies live with life-changing consequences.

The severity of The Crime and Penalties

Felonies are crimes that include a penalty of one year or more in prison. Misdemeanors are crimes that can put in you in jail for one year or less. Infractions lead to fine or other civil penalties. Several factors affect your penalty.

For instance, every country and state have its own punishment and penalties for a crime. These laws dictate how long will someone will be convicted and be forced to serve in prison, or/and how much fine they pay.

State laws also allow the court to impose a harsh sentence if severe factors are present. These factors are previous criminal history, the severity of crime or behavior of the convict if a child was present during the crime, and other factors. If mitigating factors are there, such as the defendant playing a small role in the crime, and have no criminal history, or he expresses remorse, the court can impose a lighter sentence.

Additional Penalties

Following are the examples of additional penalties not mentioned above.

•    Privileges: Crimes which involved motor vehicles like DUI lead to restricted penalties for driving. As driving is not considered a right in many countries but a privilege, people have their driving privileges restrictive even if the charges are dropped or if they are acquitted. 

•    Community Service: is a penalty for low-level crimes, and especially for people who have no prior criminal history. Courts require the defendant to perform a specific number of hours working with a religious, charitable or other such organization. These sentences may require the person to pay additional fees. Anyone who fails to meet these requirements faces additional penalties or are sent to jail. 

•    House Arrest: In a House Arrest, a person is confined to his house for the length of his sentence. He is allowed some trips for a medical reason or to visit the probation officer, but other travel is restricted. These charges have additional costs and fees.

•    Probation: Probation restricts freedom and liberties outside of a jail environment. The subject must respect the restrictions imposed by the court during probation. These orders can require the person to meet the probation officer, find a job or maintain his current employment, pay court fines and costs on time or participate in rehabilitation programs.

•    Probations can be a financial burden as the person has to pay for monitoring service, rehabilitation, and other expenses. These sentences are an alternative to incarceration. Therefore, people who fail to live up ott them are sent to jail. They are required to finish their sentence.

•    Restitution: It is common with property damage or theft. It is applied in cases where the victim loses his money. The court orders a restitution amount to be paid back to the victim for their loss. The money is paid apart from fines and court expenses. It depends on the case and the amount.

Civil Liberties

Every state has its own respected laws that limit civil liberties based on criminal charges. Some of these charges have discretionary limits while others are mandatory. These restrictions differ from state to state. It also depends on the type and severity of the crime. Following, we are giving a few examples of such punishments:

•    The convicted cannot participate in youth services or conservation crop programs

•    The convict can’t serve as a personal representative or executor of a deceased’s state

•    They can’t obtain a driving license unless they ask the court to reconsider

•    The convict loses their right to vote, own a gun, or operate the pyrotechnic display.

•    If the person is convicted of an offense involving controlled substance, they may lose the rental application

Federal Restrictions

There are also some federal restrictions which go beyond the State Level. The convicted criminals may lose their right to:

•    Receive disaster assistance

•    Apply for student loans

•    Apply for Federal Jobs

•    Obtain Business license or certifications


People with a criminal record have a hard time getting prospering jobs. Even people who are guilty of minor and nonviolent crimes have a hard time getting employed.

Background Check

Background checks are more of standard practice. State Laws don’t prohibit convicts from getting jobs, but employers tend to refuse such applications. Every company has their way to check every candidate’s history

Job Application

Employers ask criminal for the history of applicants again and again. They may ask them face to face while others can resort to law agencies. Some laws restrict employers from refusing to employ someone solely based on their criminal history. Unfortunately, these laws are not adopted.

Social and Psychological Effects

A criminal record affects how the society sees and thinks of you. It drastically changes how people treat you. Discrimination against criminals is widespread and encouraged. Even when people are accused wrongfully, they are still hated. This social stigma and hatred last a lifetime.

The societal pressure leads to significant psychological changes. Even if the incarceration period is short, the changes in psychology and personality last a lifetime after leaving the jail. This increases the chance of recidivism.

Following, we are going to describe some of these common changes:

•    Vigilance: A prison is a dangerous place, and prisoners can act as a hyper-vigilante, they adopt behaviors which only lead to social isolation even after their incarceration is over.

•    Guilt and Shame: Feeling of guilt and shame is common, but only a few try to apologize and make amends. It lowers their chances of committing crimes after their release. But if convict turns the emotions outward, they blame others for their issues and actions. It hinders the possibility of self-improvement.

•    Emotional Distancing: Many convicts tend to hide their emotions to protect themselves. Emotional display is often perceived as a sign of weakness. This hinders their ability to establish or maintain a healthy relationship.

•    PTSD:  Prison can be a traumatic experience. Therefore, most people experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after their release. Complains of nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-arousal, and emotional numbness are common. These people also suffer from severe anger, anxiety, and insomnia. It disrupts their ability to lead a productive life.

Expunge Your Criminal Record

If you served your sentence, and your crime was a minor offense, you can ask the court to reconsider and expunge your criminal record. However, it is only possible if you had no previous criminal history and you hire superb legal representation.

Hire an “Expunge Attorney” to clear your record. Doing this will help you get your life back on track. You will be allowed to apply for better jobs, lead a better life and face no restrictions. Just make sure you don’t resort to your old self. 

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