Facing criminal charges can mean dealing with jail time, paying fines and incurring court costs. For some people, pleading guilty to a criminal offense seems like a quick and simple solution to the potential impact of pending criminal charges. Other individuals may have attempted to defend themselves only to wind up convicted despite their best efforts in court.
Whether you plead guilty or got convicted of a crime, the consequences you face will persist long after your time in court ends. A criminal record could impact your financial stability for the rest of your adult life.
How a criminal record affects your finances
Whether you took a plea deal to a lesser offense or wound up convicted despite your best efforts, having a conviction or guilty plea on your permanent record will have an immediate and lasting impact on your life.
Criminal convictions will drastically limit your options for employment. Many companies are unwilling to hire those with criminal convictions. Others will hire people with records but may not give them the same opportunities for advancement and increased wages that other employees receive.
Outside of work, where your earning potential and job stability could wind up significantly compromised by a conviction, your educational prospects will also likely take a hit. Many criminal convictions will impact your ability to receive federal and private student aid. Many prestigious schools will also have policies about enrolling those with criminal convictions.
Finally, a criminal conviction will limit your options regarding housing and could drastically increase the amount of rent or security deposit that a landlord requires from you.
Sealing your record or expunction can help
Depending on the charges you face and the circumstances that led to your criminal record, you may have options for sealing your record or requesting an expunction from the state of Texas. These steps can remove a blemish from your public record and help you get your life back on track.
The fewer people who have access to your criminal record, the easier it may be to reduce the financial and social consequences of that record. If it is already too late to avoid a conviction, the next best step may involve having it sealed or removed so that you can move on with your life.