You should never underestimate the impact of a criminal record on your future. A conviction even for a relatively minor crime can have long-lasting consequences that you may have a lot of trouble getting rid of.
The best way to try to avoid a criminal conviction after police have charged you with a crime is to work for a strategic defense. An excellent defense is the first step in paving the way for a more successful future without the penalties of a criminal record.
Impacts on employment
A criminal conviction can seriously hamper your work opportunities, future employment and career advancement. The American Bar Association conducted a survey of "collateral consequences" of a criminal conviction, and in that survey, it found 44,500 different state and federal statutes that impose legal restrictions on people with a criminal record. Employment is a primary area where you may find these restrictions.
The restrictions on employment span a wide variety of professions, not just a specific subset of industries or jobs. One study reported by Fast Company found that white job applicants with a criminal record had 50 percent less of a chance of a job interview call-back than their counterparts without a criminal record. Many people with criminal records have a difficult time even getting a job interview. In an ironic and difficult twist, people who leave jail are many times destitute and most in need of employment as soon as possible.
Benefits of a strategic defense
Your best chance to avoid a criminal conviction is to have a strong and strategic defense at the trial stage. Especially in very serious charges such as murder, an acquittal can mean the difference between having a future and a lifetime in jail. You should never assume your case does not stand a chance of defense in a courtroom. There are many ways that police may have mishandled your arrest, your case or your charges. A strategic defense brings the particulars of your case to light in a way that gives you the best chance of avoiding a conviction.