A surprising number of people don’t take criminal charges very seriously. Possibly because of the 24-hour news cycle or the popularity of social media, they feel like many people get arrested and that criminal charges are a big deal for people anymore.
Quite a few people will just plead guilty to criminal charges despite knowing that they are innocent. They think that the penalties they faced don’t warrant the stress and expense of a defense or they just want to put the whole matter behind them as quickly as possible.
Whether you face misdemeanor property offense charges or felony violent crime charges, fighting back against them is almost always the best choice.
A criminal record will cost you for the rest of your life
Pleading guilty to an offense, even a lesser crime, will result in a criminal record that anyone can locate. Yes, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is an investment, but it is an investment in your future.
If you just plead guilty, you will feel the impact of your criminal record for years to come. You can expect a lot more difficulty with finding good jobs or a nice place to rent. You will have to disclose your conviction in most cases or risk the other party thinking that you lied about or hid it, which is often worse. Every apartment or job application will likely cause you stress and embarrassment.
Even when you do get a job, your criminal record will affect what the company will pay you. If the state charges you with a felony, a conviction will reduce your earning by 22% on average. Even a misdemeanor will translate to 16% less income for you.
Criminal records limit your opportunities for self-improvement
You won’t just lose work and housing opportunities with a criminal record. Your educational future is also at risk. Criminal convictions can prevent your enrollment at different schools. They can limit your access to federal student aid and private scholarship programs.
Even prospective romantic partners and future in-laws may judge you based on your criminal history years after a conviction. Fighting back against criminal charges can ensure that you still have plenty of opportunities in the future.