Having a blemished record can really have an impact on your life for years down the road. Just about anything you do these days is going to require a background check—where employers, landlords, insurance agencies, and the government will be able to see any and all charges against you. Here are four ways that your criminal record can affect where you live, where you go, what career you have, and if you are eligible for insurance.
Prevent You from Getting Housing
With a claim for section 8 or public housing, you and everyone who is over 16 years old is required to have a background check. So even if you are living with people who have a criminal charge on their record, this could impact the outcome of the situation for you as well. With a criminal charge, you may be seen as a risk to other tenants, and therefore may be denied access to housing.
Prevent You from Getting the Job You Want
“It is prudent of every business or HR department to run a background check on each potential employee,” said Brockton Hunter, a criminal defense lawyer. “With a criminal record, they are allowed to deny you a position in which you may be qualified. This is because you may be seen as a risk to the company. It may be seen as a fault of character, which the company may not be willing to overlook. Employers want to protect themselves from potentially being targeted for future crimes.”
Prevent You from Getting Life Insurance
If you have been in jail or are currently in jail, you are going to have a very difficult time getting life insurance. Insurance companies consider those who have been in jail to be at a higher risk of returning to jail or being involved in another crime. This could, in turn, lead to a premature death and the insurance company would lose money.
Prevent You from International Travel
“The U.S. citizens who are not on parole or are done with their term of sentencing can technically obtain a passport,” said Thomas Beedem, a long term disability lawyer. “This mean that you won’t be denied for other reasons that are different from your criminal record. There are a few exceptions for people who have abused their passport in the past in order to commit the crimes in which they have been convicted. If you are able to obtain a passport, other countries might prohibit you from entering or may require you to apply for a visa. This is because your passport may be flagged due to your record.”
A criminal charge can really put a damper on a person’s dreams and limit their amount of freedom to get back on their feet. It is important that you work with a lawyer throughout a criminal charge hearing in order to try and minimize or eliminate the charge all together.