Some crimes carry more severe consequences, and some allegations are more straightforward to defend. There may even be some convictions that you feel you could justify or explain away if someone were to ask you about them in the future. However, your best bet is to fight any criminal charges you face.
A criminal conviction will come with immediate penalties. These could include fines or time in jail. It will also come with long-term consequences that many people forget to weigh up when deciding whether to defend against a charge or take the easy route and take a plea deal.
A criminal record could affect you for the rest of your life
Here are some consequences of a criminal record you might not have considered:
- One charge can increase the penalty for future offenses: A judge is unlikely to treat someone with previous convictions as lightly as a person with a clean past. It is harder to argue something is out of character or a mistake if you have other minor offenses on your record.
- One conviction puts you on the police radar: The police profile people. When a robbery happens at your local store, they are more likely to question you, who once pleaded guilty to shoplifting to avoid telling on a friend, than your granny, who has never been to court in her life.
- Progressing out of a bad situation becomes harder: Many people pick up a criminal record at a low point in their lives. Getting the steady job or the further education, you need to help you move on in life will be more challenging when background checks show you have a criminal record.
Fighting any criminal accusations you face is essential to increase your prospects of a brighter future. Accepting a conviction for something you did not do is a sure way to land yourself in further problems.