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What are the Consequences Of A Criminal Record?
You’re generally a law-abiding citizen. You pay your income taxes in a timely manner and recently engaged in some behavior that may result in a criminal record. Maybe, despite your normal vigilance about drinking and driving, you had one too many and were picked up by the cops. Or perhaps you got too riled up at a LA Rams game and threw a beer bottle, injuring another fan. In these kinds of situations, it’s likely you will be charged with a crime.
A crime is an unlawful act that is punishable by a federal or state government. In most states, crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, although some states have additional classifications such as “infractions.” A crime is classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. In many states, including California, misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. Felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors and generally result in at least one year in state prison. This is the case in California. State crimes include assault, robbery, arson, murder , rape , theft, and burglary. Federal crimes include mail fraud, bank robbery, credit card fraud, tax evasion, counterfeiting, and other crimes which involve a national interest.
What are the consequences of a criminal record?
The immediate impact of a criminal record is fines, penalties, fees, and/or jail time. But beyond that, a criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life and impact many areas of your day-to-day life.
Areas of Day-to-Day Life Which May Be Affected
How can a criminal record affect employment?
Subject to certain legal requirements, employers have the right to conduct background checks, and a criminal record may keep you from being hired. In California, an employer with five or more employees may not consider the conviction history of an applicant until after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment. However, after making a conditional offer of employment, an employer may conduct a criminal history check and rescind the job offer if the employer decides the applicant’s criminal history is a basis upon which to do so.
If you work in law enforcement or nursing, have a commercial driver’s license, or work with children, a criminal record may result in the revocation of licenses you carry for these types of work.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect Child Custody?
If you are seeking child custody, a criminal record could limit your rights. This is particularly true if the charge, whether a felony or misdemeanor involved domestic abuse or other violent acts. In California, the judge will look to the child’s best interests and will take into consideration factors such as domestic violence or protective orders.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect Adoption?
Regardless of the method you are using to try to adopt a child, whether through an adoption agency or family court, under California state law, you may not adopt a child if you have a felony conviction for child abuse or neglect or spousal abuse. Violent crimes on your record, such as rape or homicide, will also bar you from adopting a child in California. This is not a comprehensive list, and there are other legal considerations that will be taken into account by the judge in determining what is in the best interest of the child. Most other states have comparable limitations on child adoption.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect Driving?
Depending on the severity of the offense, individuals with a criminal record may lose their license to drive. In California, a criminal record involving alcohol or other drugs can lead to a four-month suspension of your driver’s license.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect the Possession of Firearms?
In most states, a criminal conviction affects your ability to own a firearm. In California, a felony conviction will result in a lifetime ban on your ability to possess or own a gun.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect Immigration?
If you are a foreign national, a history of having a criminal record may prevent you from getting a green card, changing your immigration status, or becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. If you are not a citizen of the United States but here legally on a non-immigrant visa or green card, a criminal record may result in deportation.
This is not an exhaustive list of the consequences of a criminal conviction. In certain states, you may be unable to obtain or retain a healthcare license. Certain colleges may deny admission for a criminal record, even if it’s a misdemeanor, and sexual or drug-related offenses may bar you from college financial aid. In certain states and municipalities, landlords may lawfully refuse to rent to you.
You should also be aware that if you face a new charge and already have a criminal record, you can face more severe consequences.
Contact Perlman & Cohen Today
Don’t let a criminal record impose negative consequences on you or a loved one for the rest of your life. Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys can help develop legal strategies to reduce or dismiss your charge or to get your charge deleted or expunged. Our firm’s Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers have many years of experience helping clients like you navigate the California criminal system. Call us today at (310) 299-0062 to set up a free consultation.