Before talking about the effects of criminal charges, it is important for Shrum Law Offices to help you understand the concept of a criminal record. A permanent record is created when is a person is convicted by a court of law, and even one conviction can have serious effects for the rest of a person’s life. A person’s criminal record is often available to the public and can be accessed by any person with Internet access.
The only time records are not available to the public is if the offender is under the age of 18 and sent to a juvenile home instead of jail. In these cases, criminal records can only be accessed by those with proper authority. The reasoning behind keeping these records hidden from the public is that a child has their entire life ahead of them. He or she needs to return to society after spending time in a juvenile society, and entering adulthood with a criminal record could severely hinder his or her chances at successful re-integration.
Adults on the other hand are not granted such privileges, and many will face difficulties and discrimination because of their record. One common difficulty is trying to find employment, as many employers perform background checks on job candidates. Because criminal records are publicly available, employers have access to these criminal records. In some instances it is crucial that employers have these records, especially for jobs that deal with children. In other cases employers might not be able to see past an individual’s criminal record, and this bias can hinder him or her from getting a job.
Another most common difficulty that arises to a person with a prior conviction is in cases of immigration. It is almost impossible for a person with a prior conviction to attain a green card in a foreign land or to complete the process of neutralization for citizenship in a country. Some go as far as to change their entire immigration status.
In child custody cases, parents with a criminal record are often denied custody based solely on their criminal record, especially if the charges dealt with violent activities or domestic abuse. Additionally, individuals with prior criminal records suffer a greater degree of punishment if they are repeat offenders.
The reasoning behind the criminal justice system is that individuals who are convicted of a crime spending time for that crime and then are returned to society, yet their criminal record prevents them from returning entirely to normality. If you have specific questions about criminal records and their lasting effects, reach out to the experts at The Law Office of Matthew Shrum. Whether you have a DWI charge, drug charge or assault charge, we can assist.