There’s certainly a lot at stake when you’re facing criminal charges. So, it’s completely normal to feel nervous about the outcome of your case. You shouldn’t let your nerves push you toward accepting a plea deal that isn’t right for you, though. Instead, you need to fully analyze your circumstances to determine which course of action is best for you. This includes knowing how a conviction could affect your life now and into the future.
The penalties that you could face upon conviction
We know this is an uneasy conversation to have, but if you’re thinking about accepting a plea deal or taking a losing case to trial, then you need to know what penalties are on the table. Therefore, take a look at this list of penalties and consider how big of a role each one may play in your case:
- Prison or jail time: This is oftentimes a major focus for those who have been accused of a crime. Most people just want to avoid incarceration and are therefore willing to entertain a plea deal that gives them that out. That’s certainly an important consideration, but you can’t overlook the other penalties that may be coming your way.
- Fines: Some criminal offenses, especially white collar crimes, can result in fines that can be financially ruinous. Be prepared to address this aspect of your case so that you can try to reduce or eliminate its impact on your future.
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation: Depending on the charges that you’re facing, a conviction could lead to the suspension or revocation of your license. This can prevent you from getting to work or school, and it may affect your familial relationships as visiting your children or even caring for your elderly loved ones can be made more difficult.
- Professional license suspension or revocation: If you work in a profession that requires a license to practice, then a criminal conviction can be a death knell for your career. You’ll want to try to minimize the impact that your criminal case has on your job prospects.
- Housing troubles: A criminal conviction, especially a felony, can make it hard for you to secure appropriate housing. If you do find housing, it might be less than you hoped for. This means that your employment prospects and other aspects of your life may be limited based on where you can secure the limited housing available to you.
- Other job opportunities: A criminal conviction of any sort will pop up on a criminal background check. Therefore, you may be denied many job opportunities if you’ve been convicted, which can impair your financial stability and career growth.
- Damage to your reputation: The mere accusation of criminal wrongdoing can tarnish your reputation and damage your relationship with your friends, family, and colleagues. This can be difficult to overcome unless you beat the charges levied against you.
Don’t be scared, be prepared
We don’t lay out these penalties to frighten you into inaction. Instead, we want you to realize the importance of building your criminal defense early on in your case. The sooner you start strategizing, the better positioned you will be to seek an outcome that avoids the harshest of penalties. With some legal know-how and tenacity on your side, you might even be able to block some of the prosecution’s evidence and have charges dismissed or secure an acquittal. To learn the criminal defense options available to you, though, you should consider discussing the specific facts of your case with an experienced attorney who has a track record of success in these matters.