I think it’s pretty safe to say that none of us want to be arrested at any point in our life. Most of us know that an arrest can potentially lead to a trial and eventually jail time. In our worry about punishment, we often forget the often impacts that arrest can have on our lives — both in the future and the immediate present.
Take a look at how a criminal conviction can change your life. Share this information with your friends and family so they are aware of just how impactful a conviction can be:
While many groups have implemented “ban the box” campaigns, many employers ask for an applicant’s criminal history. Attitudes toward formerly incarcerated people are changing, but many employers are still wary of hiring convicted criminals. This is the reason why so many formerly incarcerated individuals have trouble finding jobs after they are released from prison. This trouble leads to financial instability which leads many of them back into prison.
Not only do formerly incarcerated people find it hard to find employment after serving their time, they often find it hard to find housing as well. The lack of financial stability due to difficulties in finding a job makes it hard for a former felon to purchase or rent a home on the private market. To make matters worse, public housing — which is considerably cheaper than private housing — often has restrictions than ban people with a criminal conviction from living there. Having a home is vital to our health — both mental and physical, and homelessness can have a drastic influence on one’s life.
While many states restore one’s right to vote after they have served their sentence, some states only allow some convicted felons to vote after their time in prison is over. Some states only allow formerly incarcerated people to vote after a certain amount of time after their sentence is over. Make sure to check out the specific laws in your state, but if you were convicted of a felony you may not be able to participate in American democracy for a certain length of time.
Whether for leisure or for business, many of us need to travel at some point in our lives. If you are a convicted felon, you may have trouble leaving the United States or even travelling across state lines. Many felons find their passports being revoked during their sentence — and the financial burden of getting a new one after their sentence may prove too great. Many parole restrictions limit a parolee’s ability to travel freely as well.
The above list is not exhaustive — many rights can be taken away from someone after being incarcerated. If you’re facing a criminal charge, the best thing you can do is to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney like the seasoned attorneys at Horst Law. They’ll be able to help you avoid jail time and losing the above rights and more.