Break free from lingering criminal charges.

Lingering Criminal Charges

Criminal Charges Can Linger Long After Your Debt to Society is Paid

Choosing whether or not to fight criminal charges can be a life-changing decision. Should you risk being convicted at a trial? Should you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for not facing more serious charges? Though what’s going on in your life now and what may happen in the near future may be your biggest concern, you also need to think about the potential long-term consequences of having a criminal record.

The Impact of an Indiana Criminal Record Can Be Wide Ranging

There have been more than a quarter of a billion arrests in the U.S. over the last twenty years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates, according to the Wall Street Journal. Because all these arrests are documented, the agency has about 77.7 million individuals in its master criminal database, or about a third of America’s adult population. There are about 10,000 to 12,000 new names added every day.

Because of the increased use of databases and easy access through the internet, it’s never been easier for employers, banks, college admissions officers and landlords to see whether a person they’re dealing with has a criminal record.

Most people facing state criminal charges are dealing with misdemeanors for minor crimes like possession of marijuana or driving with a suspended license, according to Time magazine. If convicted or if the person pleads guilty, these charges often don’t result in jail time. Though this is a good thing in the short term, there are still long-term consequences that could be the same as if they had been charged with a felony.

Time reports that a person convicted of a misdemeanor may face over 200 federal and state consequences as a result of a conviction, including inability to get a job and/or a license in certain fields. In total, there are more than 45,000 state and federal consequences for convictions, which can impact housing rights, access to loans and family law rights.

An Indiana Criminal Record Can Limit Your Job Prospects

Most employers are reluctant to hire applicants with criminal records, the National Institute of Justice has found. In a study conducted in New York City, a job applicant with a criminal record had about half the chance of getting a call or job offer compared to one without. This negative effect for African American job applicants was twice that of white applicants.

Researchers from Arizona State University conducted a three-year study on the impact of having a criminal record for those seeking employment, varying by race and gender, according to the Justice Center. The study involved different applicants, with and without criminal records, of different races and ethnic backgrounds. They applied for jobs and stated their qualifications met the job description.

There were two experiments:

  • About six thousand online applications for entry-level positions were submitted for jobs in customer service, general/manual labor and restaurant/food service in Maricopa County, Arizona, from 2011 to 2012.
  • Individuals applied for sixty job openings in person. Hiring managers of 49 employers were later surveyed.

The results of the survey were:

  • Employers may be biased against welfare recipients, the unemployed, and those with short-term and part-time work histories; but those with criminal histories were the least likely to be hired.
  • Employers often perceived those with criminal records as likely to have problems with absenteeism, tardiness, drug or alcohol issues and poor relationships with employers.

Of those who applied for work online:

  • African American and Hispanic men with criminal records were less likely than white men to receive a positive response from employers (such as a call-back or email for an interview or a job offer).
  • Men with criminal records were more likely than women with criminal records to receive a negative response.

Get Help with Your Indiana Criminal Record

If you fear the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, you could:

  • Have your defense attorney strongly defend you, including meeting with the prosecutor to convince him or her to drop the charges or, if that fails, argue to a judge they should be dropped.
  • Challenge the prosecution to meet its burden of proof, go to trial and try to obtain a not-guilty verdict.
  • Agree to a plea bargain and plead guilty to a lesser charge that should have a less severe impact on your future.
  • Under certain circumstances, have your criminal record expunged so it won’t be available to the general public.

If you or any member of your family has been arrested or charged with any crime, get help today. McNeely Stephenson is here 24/7, and all you have to do is either call (812) 725-8224 or click the contact us link for a free consultation. Protect yourself with the seasoned, experienced criminal trial lawyers of your New Albany Legal Team.