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3 Ways Criminal Charges Can Jeopardize Your Career Trajectory

Aggravated assault, a violent crime that causes severe physical harm to another, is the most common violent crime

According to Pew Research Center, using U.S. 2022 crime statistics compiled by the FBI, the top three crimes were property crimes, namely, theft, motor vehicle theft, and burglary, while fourth on the list was aggravated assault, followed by robbery and rape. 

While not everyone charged with a criminal offense is guilty, merely being associated with criminal trespasses is enough to suffer reputational harm and job insecurity. A criminal charge can take the wind out of your sail career-wise or derail your career aspirations entirely.

People make mistakes and should get a second chance after paying their debts to society. But that doesn’t necessarily mean everything will automatically return to the way they were before. 

“Criminal convictions can make it hard not only to keep your job but also to find a new one,” says Brian A. Walker from Brian Walker Law Firm. “Many companies run background checks on potential recruits. A criminal record can disqualify someone from further consideration. Even if the job doesn’t require a background check, many employers will often shy away from retaining the services of anyone with a criminal record. That’s why you need a criminal defense attorney if you’re arrested for a criminal offense. Too much is at stake to go it alone.”

Consider these three ways criminal charges can jeopardize your career prospects. You’ll also see how the right criminal defense attorney can help you achieve a desirable outcome. 

  1. Criminal Charges Can Take You Out of the Workforce

According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the median time served for murder was 17.5 years, 7.2 years for rape, and 17 months for drug trafficking. 

If you’re charged with a criminal offense, found guilty in court, and sentenced to jail, losing your job will be one of the results. Your career ambitions will grind to a halt. 

Even if the judge finds you not guilty or the prosecutor drops the charges ahead of a trial, the very fact that you were arrested will wreak havoc on your career objectives. 

Depending on the nature of the charges, your employer may fire you or at least place you under administrative leave or suspension. That’ll be enough to stop your career trajectory.

  1. Criminal Charges Can Invalidate You From Certain Career Paths

Criminal charges can also force you to seek a new line of work or career path. A criminal conviction may result in the immediate loss of professional licensing, which means you may be ineligible to work in your field. If you have a criminal record, you’ll have difficulty entering fields like law enforcement, education, healthcare, law, transportation, emergency responders, and more. So, a criminal conviction can destroy your career aspirations.

So, there’s more at stake during criminal case proceedings than possible incarceration or fines. If pursuing certain career paths, a criminal conviction might signal finding a new line of work.

  1. Criminal Charges Can Make it Hard to Find Work

While a criminal conviction can make it hard to continue working in certain fields, it can also make it hard to find a job at all. You may have to accept the fact that a career change is necessary. The job you might have dreamed of may no longer be possible. You’ll have to consider jobs that don’t appeal to you or reinvent yourself by pursuing more education and learning new skills. 

Even if you’re found not guilty of criminal offenses, the stigma can hurt your job search. Reputational harm is hard to calculate after being charged with a criminal offense. But it can dampen your career prospects and turn upward momentum into a downward spiral.

If facing criminal charges, you need a reputable attorney. A criminal conviction can result in fines or jail time. You need legal representation to help you through the complex criminal law process. A reputable criminal defense attorney will gather the facts, interview witnesses, find expert witnesses, leverage helpful tech to work more efficiently and effectively, and build a strong case. With so much at stake, you’ll want to meet the challenge head-on.