Even minor criminal charges could mean severe consequences for years to come. Regardless if it’s a misdemeanor or felony, a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania can result in legal fees, fines, and even imprisonment. And those are just your immediate concerns. Once you have a criminal record, you may face any number of negative effects to your private and professional life.

The aftermath of a conviction in Pennsylvania is so serious that you should never consider going it alone. At Skinner Law Firm, our highly experienced and committed West Chester defense attorneys will vigorously defend you and work to lessen the negative impact on your life – now and in the future.

If you’re facing charges anywhere in Chester County, PA we can help you. So, before you consider taking the first plea offered to put the matter behind you, call 610-436-1410 for a free case consultation.

Criminal Convictions are Always Serious

If you’re involved in a criminal case, there may be times you feel it would just be easier to plead guilty. Prosecutors may be offering a “deal” for a lesser punishment if you’ll just quickly resolve the case. They may even frighten you with the potential penalties if you don’t accept. But they won’t tell you that what might look like a “slap on the hand” from the court can still have a long-lasting impact on your life.

Some of the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania are:

  • Costly legal fees, court costs, fines, and imprisonment.
  • A permanent criminal record that shows up on background checks for employment, financing, housing, or education purposes.
  • Limitations on where you can live. Certain convictions may exclude living near certain populations, such as schools or parks.
  • Loss of professional licenses, such as law, accounting, or teaching. Without a license, you would be prevented from working in your chosen profession.
  • Problems with child custody, perhaps losing shared parenting or forced to have supervised visitation. A criminal conviction during a difficult divorce can be especially problematic.
  • Denial of admission to a college or graduate program; or foreclosure from sitting for professional certification exams, such as the bar exam.
  • Required registration as a sex offender, which must be disclosed on housing applications and potential employers in certain situations.
  • Losing the right to own or purchase firearms.
  • Barred from certain establishments such as bars or casinos.
  • Denied the right to associate with certain people or groups.
  • Either losing government assistance or the right to assistance in the future.
  • Deportation if in the US on certain types of VISAs or a DACA participant.
  • Inability to get a loan for a house, car, or education.

In addition, your standing in the community can be tarnished. Your friends and family may distance themselves from you if you become a convicted criminal. A conviction could result in the loss of your job, as well, especially if you must serve time in jail. Once you’ve lost that job, a criminal record can hamper re-employment chances.

Don’t Take a Plea Without Consulting Us

The Skinner Law Firm can help you avoid the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania by zealously pursuing your defense. We work hard to prevent a conviction in the first place, or to get the charges reduced so there is a little long-term effect as possible.

Our experienced defense attorneys represent individuals in Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and the surrounding cities of Southeastern Pennsylvania. We are ready to fight for you. Don’t take a plea without consulting with us. Call 610-436-1410 today for a free case consultation.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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