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Background Checks & Criminal Convictions


Most types of criminal offenses, from your minor traffic infraction to the most serious and egregious felony or federal charge, will impose some type of consequence. Laws are, after all, designed to enforce a standard with which all citizens must comply. In the event that these standards are broken, individuals risk the prospect of facing consequences for their actions. When it comes to criminal law and criminal offenses, these consequences can be severe and, in many respects, life-changing.

The Long Term Effects of a Criminal Conviction

Criminal courts will hand down a number of various criminal penalties to individuals who have been convicted of a crime. Whether these penalties include fines, terms of imprisonment, probation, or all of the above will depend on the nature of an offense and one's criminal record. With nearly all criminal convictions, however, there lurks the devastating potential for future challenges.

While losing one's freedom, grappling with fines and fees, and dealing with the restrictions of probation or driver's license penalties may be no easy feat, enduring the long-term consequences posed by a criminal conviction can be the largest and most difficult challenge that convicted individuals face. Having a criminal conviction on one's record is less than desirable, not merely because it serves as a reminder of one's past mistakes, but also because it can be viewed, and subsequently interpreted, by others who have some say in your future well-being.

It is well known that prospective employers, schools, landlords, and others who conduct background checks view criminal convictions as unsavory. How deeply can a criminal record impact one's life, though? The answer to this difficult question is simply: it depends. Criminal convictions certainly do not provide any benefit to one's future. They can, in fact, negatively impact your life by creating a host of barriers, restrictions, and hurdles. In many respects, criminal convictions and a criminal record are imposed exclusively by our society, by the people in positions of power, and by our nation's current competitiveness in a wide range of institutions.

Criminal Records & Employment

To create an example of these challenges created by a criminal conviction, let's look at one of the most significant problems convicted offenders face in the aftermath of a conviction: employment. With a national economy that is struggling to gain solid footing after one of the worst economic declines in U.S. history, competition for jobs is at its peak. As such, employers often use background checks to weed out less-than-favorable applicants.

Whether or not this is fair or the best approach to finding workers is a question with much debate. Judging a book by its cover, as they say, is never a good policy, yet it happens all the time to convicted offenders who are looking for work. As unfortunate as it may be, employers will view a person – often someone they have never met in person or observed in action – on paper. If this paper is a criminal record showing a criminal conviction or several convictions, they often cast it aside in favor of others, even if that convicted individual is qualified and capable and regardless of whether this individual has made great efforts to put their past behind them and lead a productive, law-abiding life.

Do Background Checks Prevent Criminal Reform?

The problems convicted individuals face in the workforce are extremely pervasive and continually perpetuated throughout the country. It is, in many ways, one of the largest barriers people face when attempting to put their life back on track. In fact, numerous studies have found that problems finding employment and stability in civic life are often at the root of criminal recidivism – the term used to describe a convicted individual's return to a life of crime and incarceration. As a result, national efforts have been made to help convicted individuals transition into society and find gainful employment.

Although the prospects of challenges after being convicted of a crime are indeed real and are certainly cause for concern, they are not the end-all when it comes to finding work and personal or financial stability. One's charge and mentality and perhaps a bit of luck have much to do with that. There is no denying the fact, however, that challenges and hurdles are likely to exist, and that having a criminal conviction on one's record is something that should warrant prompt and immediate consideration after a criminal allegation.

Fight to Avoid a Criminal Record by Contacting The Hammer Law Firm

If you or your loved one has recently been charged with any type of criminal offense, The Hammer Law Firm, LLC wants you to know that our St. Louis criminal defense attorneys have made it our mission to protect our clients' futures. Having worked with so many clients and families throughout the years, we know that when a client faces criminal allegations, there is much at stake. We also know that in many cases, one's life may very well be on the line. As such, we devote 100% of our collective experience, extensive resources, and unswerving commitment to defending our clients as aggressively, intelligently, and effectively as possible. If you would like to learn more about avoiding the consequences of a criminal conviction, or if you would like to discuss your case and the ways in which we can help, contact The Hammer Law Firm, LLC today.

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