Whether it is for theft or driving under the influence, getting arrested is no laughing matter. When you are charged with a crime, your immediate thought is probably about the idea of spending some time in jail. While there is the possibility of sitting in a jail cell, it is not the only thing you have to worry about. If you are convicted of a crime, it can affect you for the rest of your life. Here are six consequences of having a felony on your record:
Limited Employment Opportunities
One of the toughest parts about having a felony on your record are the lack of employment opportunities. According to Nolo, many employers conduct criminal background checks to keep other staff members safe, prevent damage to company property and avoid liability. In some occupations, employers are required to deny applicants with certain convictions. For instance, those who have been convicted of child abuse are not allowed to obtain jobs as teachers. Although gaining unemployment is tougher with a criminal background, it is not impossible. Be honest about your criminal history and tell the employer how you have changed since your conviction.
If you are convicted of a felony, you will not be able to purchase firearms. This can be particularly troubling if you live in a neighborhood with high crimes rates. If someone breaks in your home and threatens your family, you will not be able to protect them.
Although traveling internationally is not impossible with a felony record, it can be very tough. Certain countries do not allow people with felony records to visit or require them to pay extra money for visas. Not being able to visit to certain countries can limit your vacation opportunities and prevent you from traveling with friends and family who want to visit foreign countries.
Fewer Renting Options
If you have a criminal background, you may also have a more difficult time renting an apartment. Many apartment complexes have strict rules on renting to individuals with felonies on their records, especially if they are for violent offenses. They may think people with criminal backgrounds are more likely to damage property or harm other tenants in the building. If you can't find a place to live, you may have resort to living with friends or family members for a while.
No Government Assistance
Another consequence you may have to face with a felony record is the denial of government assistance. If you fall on hard times and need help paying for necessities such as food or rent, the government may deny you based on your criminal record. This can make it very difficult to survive if you lose your job and do not have any savings or family members to fall back on.
Difficulty Getting Approved for Loans
Because felons are seen as big risks, they are often denied mortgage, business and other types of loans. If you want to buy a house or start your own business, you may have a difficult time getting approved for loans from lending companies. If a company does approve you for a loan, you will likely be charged very high interest rates.
As you can see, a felony record could affect you long after you have finished a jail sentence or probation. A criminal history can prevent you from doing things that many people with clean records take for granted. If you have a felony conviction, you may have the option of getting it expunged or sealed. Contact a reputable criminal lawyer in Toronto to see if it is possible to wipe your record clean.