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How a Criminal Record Can Affect Your Life

Everyone hears lots of warnings about the consequences of breaking the law. Being convicted of a crime could mean fines, jail time, losing your driver’s license and more. You could spend several years on probation or with a suspended sentence. However, not everyone is aware of the further consequences of having a criminal record. Even once you have dealt with the sentence, most crimes will be on your record forever. It’s essential to be aware of how this can affect your life. It can have a significant impact on your education, career, and even where you can live. Here’s how it could change your life.


Securing Work

Having a criminal record can be a barrier to obtaining work, especially in certain fields. There are particular crimes that could prevent you from finding work in certain industries. Anyone with alcohol or drugs related crimes will struggle to secure a driving job. If you’ve ever been convicted of assault, working in the medical or care fields are likely to be out of the question. Shoplifting or theft charges will make it very hard to get a job in retail. As well as affecting your future work, a criminal record could mean you lose your current job.

Travel Restrictions

There are many countries where having a criminal record will make no difference to your entrance. However, there are a number of places where the rules are strict. Usually, an American citizen would be able to enter Canada with proof of citizenship and identification. However, if someone has a criminal record, they will have to try to get a Temporary Resident Permit. This is one route to get into the country, but it’s not a guaranteed method. The US also has strict rules, and so do Australia and New Zealand. Some countries, such as the UK, have a concept of “spent” convictions. After an amount of time, the person is regarded as rehabilitated from the crime. However, this can be a decade or more.

Access to Education

It’s not just employment, but education too that can be affected by a criminal record. Getting into good schools is harder if you have a criminal history. It can also affect your ability to be approved for financial aid. A past conviction won’t make you ineligible for funding forever, but it can make a difference. It can mean the money you can get is limited or that you have to wait longer to get the money you need.

Renting a Home

Even finding a home can be harder if you have a criminal record. Many apartment complexes and landlords will deny anyone with a previous conviction. This can make it more difficult to find a stable home. In some places, the law provides protection for tenants. So you will still be able to sign a lease even if you have a criminal record. However, this isn’t the case everywhere.

Having a criminal record can have many repercussions on your life. It’s not going to ruin everything, but it can make some things a lot harder.

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