A criminal conviction comes with consequences such as completing a probation term, paying fines and restitution, or even spending time behind bars. While all of these penalties can seem harsh, they do end after a certain period of time. However, even after you complete probation or a jail sentence and pay any fines, you may still suffer additional consequences of a criminal conviction for years to come. In particular, a conviction can have lasting impacts on your career.
A criminal case can lead to the loss of your job for several reasons. First of all, if you have to spend time in jail, you may likely lose your job simply because you cannot attend work for that period of time. Even if you do not go to jail, your case may prevent you from performing your job duties in other ways. This may be true if your job involves driving and your conviction was for driving under the influence (DUI) or other serious driving offenses. A conviction for certain offenses can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, which may also prohibit you from driving for work unless you obtain a hardship license called an “occupational limited license.” This is especially true for commercial drivers, as a DUI conviction may cause them to lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL), which prevents them from working as a commercial driver in any capacity for the foreseeable future.
Many employers perform criminal background checks as part of the hiring process and many companies have policies against hiring applicants with convictions on their records. This can make it challenging to get hired for a new position. Additionally, some convictions will completely disqualify you from certain lines of work. Fraud and money-related convictions can keep you from working in the financial sector, and domestic violence convictions can make you ineligible for many caretaking jobs. In short, your future job prospects can be limited by your criminal conviction.
If your career requires you to obtain and maintain a professional license issued by a state licensing board, a criminal conviction may jeopardize your license. You may lose your license temporarily or permanently, but either way, you will not be able to work in your chosen profession without a license. Furthermore, if you intend to obtain a professional license but have not yet done so, you may be rejected when you apply because of your conviction. Many higher educational and professional programs will not accept people with certain types of convictions, so you may need to change your chosen career path accordingly.
A criminal conviction can seriously impact your livelihood and career options. This is only one of many reasons why you want