Disadvantages of Having a Criminal Record


Having an arrest record or criminal record can have many long-lasting negative effects on many areas of your life, quite realistically for the duration of your life. Despite the concept that once a person has been rehabilitated or served their sentence, they are fit to rejoin society, there are many detriments that haunt a person following a conviction, despite their best intentions or behaviors.

Having a criminal record harshly affects earning potential, as employers frequently ask whether you’ve been convicted of a crime and ask you to allow for a background check. Despite federal laws disallowing employers to not hire solely on a previous criminal record, the world of online applications has resulted in any individuals with a criminal record of any sort immediately being disqualified for positions.

A criminal conviction for certain offenses can prevent you from obtaining employment in a host of industries, including law enforcement, positions that involve children or patient care, or that require professional licensing such as nursing, law, or commercial driving. Any potential employer can request to run a background check in order to verify that you are legally qualified to hold the type of position that you are applying for.

In addition to negatively affecting job searches, a criminal record can also adversely affect housing circumstances, as landlords and associations regularly perform background checks and deny housing to individuals that have been convicted of a crime.

Criminal records can also broach into other areas of your life besides employment and housing, as banks and financial institutions may deny a loan application based upon a criminal record. Since having a criminal conviction can render you “high risk”, colleges and student aid applications may also reject your applications based upon a previous criminal history. Consequently, individuals with criminal convictions often face higher rates for all types of insurance, from auto insurance to personal insurance, as well as professional liability insurance.

Despite some states allowing criminal records to be removed or expunged after a certain period of time, thus allowing an individual to honestly answer that they have never been convicted of a crime, often times the internet allows employers and other professionals to perform searches that could allow them to come across the name of a person that has applied for an expungement or news articles about the individual, thereby negatively affecting the person, despite having a sealed or expunged record.

All in all, the consequences of having a criminal conviction are indeed a lifetime sentence, despite what the person has been convicted of, or how rehabilitated they are.

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