Everyone dreads having a felony conviction on their record. Apart from the fines and jail time, the long term consequences of being found guilty are devastating. You lose employment opportunities, cannot practice certain professions, and suffer many other burdens.
Indeed, the punishment lasts long after the incarceration ends. This is what people tend to fear most about a conviction, since it will make it much harder for them to re-enter society. Yet is it really only a concern for felony crimes?
Many underestimate the impact of misdemeanor convictions. These can still carry the same long-term consequences that a felony conviction has.
What Happens if You Get Convicted?
There are plenty of stories of people who have had their lives seriously affected by a misdemeanor conviction. Small crimes like possession of marijuana in their youth, or driving with a suspended license might not even come with jail time. And yet, they still add a black mark to your name, burdening you with various disadvantages for years to come.
This is something that Springfield IL criminal defense attorneys like Noll-Law.com always stress. With a simple background check, any employer, university, or other interested party can quickly see if you have ever been convicted. Many organizations have a strict zero tolerance rule, so even the most minor of crimes can shut countless doors.
Removing the conviction from your record is possible, but this is a long and difficult process. Expunging or sealing records is effective, but not always an option.
The Bottom Line
No matter what, your goal should be to avoid a conviction. You must approach any charges brought against you with the utmost seriousness. Get in touch with a competent defense attorney, and discuss the specifics of your case with them. A solid defense is essential to preserving your future as a law-abiding member of society.