Are you nervous about being charged with a criminal offense? If so, then you need to fully understand what’s at stake and how best to defend yourself. Those who fail to recognize the severity of the situation can end up accepting a plea deal that isn’t in their interests, leaving them facing extensive, long-term, and oftentimes unexpected consequences.
What’s at stake in your criminal case?
If you’re convicted of a criminal offense, then the ramifications can be severe. In fact, each of the following, many of which are considered collateral consequences, may come into play in your case:
- Jail or prison time: This is often the biggest concern for those facing criminal charges, and rightfully so. After all, a criminal conviction could rip you away from your job, your daily life, and your family.
- Excessive fines: Depending on the crime that you’re convicted of committing, you may end up being ordered to pay fines that could prove financially ruinous. That’s why you shouldn’t overlook the impact of this penalty.
- Mandatory community service: This may seem like a minor penalty, but it can be just one more thing that you have to deal with after you feel like you’ve already paid your debt to society.
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation: This penalty can have a dramatic effect on your life, making it challenging for you to get to work, school, visitation with your children, or to your parents to be able to care for them.
- Professional license suspension or revocation: Here, your career could be on the line. Once your license is suspended or revoked due to a criminal conviction, it can be challenging or impossible for you to get it back. Not to mention that your professional reputation may be forever tarnished.
- Difficulties finding employment: A lot of employers don’t hire convicted felons. And since most of these employers conduct background checks, there’s a good chance that you’ll face employment woes if you’re convicted of a felony offense.
- Trouble securing housing: Although you shouldn’t be discriminated against because of your criminal record, the sad truth of the matter is that many housing applicants are denied because they have a felony conviction.
- Difficulty securing a lines of credit, including auto and home loans: This collateral consequence can make it hard for you to improve your life. Regardless of your financial standing, you might struggle to access the resources that you need to build a better life if you have a conviction on your record.
- Immigration issues: Certain criminal convictions can affect your immigration status, perhaps even leading to deportation.
- Negative impacts to an existing child custody order: In child custody matters, a court is going to make a determination based on what it thinks is in the child’s best interests. A criminal conviction can give the other parent ammunition to limit or even eliminate your time with your child.
As you can see, a criminal conviction can touch nearly every aspect of your life. And the ramifications can haunt you for a long time to come, too. We don’t say this to merely frighten you, but instead to highlight the importance of building the best criminal defense possible so that you can protect your interests.
Competently approach your criminal defense
Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, there may be some strong criminal defense options available to you. You might be able to suppress some of the prosecution’s evidence or damage the reliability of some of the prosecution’s witnesses. You can then use these strategies to either obtain a more favorable plea deal that lessens the impacts mentioned above, or you can use them to fight for an acquittal.
The choice is yours, but we encourage you to discuss the circumstances of your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that you are making a fully informed choice that is right for you.