Back in the days of old western movies, when a person committed a crime, they served their jail sentence and moved on with their lives. These days, for those who commit crimes, jail time could be the least of worries. Consequences for crime can last well beyond the initial punishments issued by the Department of Justice.
Financial consequences of committing a crime can add up fast. First, there are court fees, which can be significant. While the fee amount varies from county to county, one can usually expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $1,000 for a misdemeanor. There are also fees for court-ordered supervision during probation, for record keepers, clerks, the prosecutor’s office, entering and leaving jail, as well as other charges.
Fines are a common form of punishment for traffic violations, as well as for violations of fish and game laws. Many of these violations can combine with other violations, and fines pile up on each other, creating a hefty penalty to be paid.
There may even be financial repercussions from a place of employment. By law, employers are allowed to fire employees that are charged with a crime. If people miss time at work because they have been arrested, it is likely that they could lose their jobs. Upon losing a job, paying fees can become very difficult and financially crippling.
Consequences On Your Record
Committing a misdemeanor or felony will end up on a permanent record that will follow individuals around for the rest of their lives. Whenever a crime is on record, that information becomes available to future employers, making it harder for the convicted to find a job. Criminal background checks are a common practice whenever employers are interviewing potential employees. Even people who have committed small, victimless misdemeanors find it challenging to obtain significant employment. It is possible to earn a good job after committing a crime; however, it will usually be an uphill struggle.
On top of the other consequences, crime can affect someone’s social life as well. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, being convicted can change how society views individuals and affects trust. Within the community, there is a widespread social stigma against criminals. This, too, can be an uphill struggle to overcome and win back trust.
Do All You Can To Keep Your Record Clean
While we may not intentionally break the law, sometimes events happen. If anything happens, it is important to get help from a lawyer with a background in criminal defense so that they can help minimize the lasting damage. In the long run, hiring a defense lawyer is worth the investment because of their ability to reduce the long term financial impact that committing a crime can have. No matter how serious the infraction, it is always helpful to at least talk with a defense attorney and devise a plan of action.