If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, you have a criminal record that will significantly affect your life. But you can fight your charges to have the judge dismiss them with the help of a competent attorney. However, that does not always happen. Some defendants do not successfully defend themselves against criminal charges.

A conviction, even for a minor offense, will result in a completely new life from what you were accustomed to. Though in some instances, the judge could erase the conviction after some time through removal or expungement of a criminal record.

In any case, trying your best to reduce your exposure to a criminal conviction is essential. It will safeguard your freedom and reduce how a criminal record will impact various aspects of your life in the future. Even a criminal conviction can completely alter your social and career life.

Let us look at some of how a criminal record will affect your life:

Your Career Life

Employment is vital for everyone to earn a living and cater to their needs and those of their dependents. People go to school to acquire relevant skills that will place them in a particular career line, through which they can gain employment to sustain their life. But even after putting in all that effort, your career could come to a dead end after a criminal conviction.

An arrest and criminal charge will affect your ability to find suitable employment, even without a criminal conviction. Prospective employers will always conduct a background check on anyone they would like to hire before hiring them. They will likely not hire you once they find out you were arrested and face criminal charges, even before you are convicted.

Other employers will directly ask about your criminal record during interviews. You are required to answer those questions truthfully. Your employer has the right to know about any misdemeanor or felony charges or convictions you have. Even a misdemeanor charge will affect your career prospects. The only criminal records you are not obligated to disclose are arrests that did not result in convictions and misdemeanor convictions expunged from your criminal record.

Some convictions will result in the cancellation of your professional license. For instance, if you are a healthcare professional, you will likely lose your license after a conviction.

Your Child Custody Rights

A criminal record will reflect negatively on your character as a parent. Thus, it could impact your child custody rights. A judge will likely make custody decisions based on the child's best interests. Many people believe that a child will not be safe in the custody of a parent with a criminal past.

Your child custody rights will also be impacted if your criminal past is related to domestic violence or other violent offenses. If placed under your custody, the child's safety could be compromised. Remember that even a simple misdemeanor could result in lost rights over your child if the offense involves your family.

You must be prepared to demonstrate how you have changed and have no further dealings with law enforcement. You could also prove that you have taken steps to remove the charge or conviction from your criminal record. But, a criminal record will always impact your parental application for child custody and visitation. It will discredit your custodial ability. The judge could conclude that you are unfit to make decisions on your child's behalf, or you are simply unfit to be alone with or care for your child.

But, judges consider several other factors before limiting parental rights. For instance, if you could demonstrate your efforts towards a criminal-free life and show the court how important your presence will be in your child's life, your custodial and visitation rights could be restored.

Efforts to Adopt a Child

Adoption allows single adults and couples to have a child in their life and enjoy the unique experiences that come with parenthood. It also provides stable and safe homes for children that need them. But, the law is very strict on requirements for adopting parents. These requirements depend on where you live and where the child you intend to adopt lives.

For instance, it is challenging for an adult with a criminal past to adopt a child in California. You will not be allowed to adopt if you have a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor offense involving a family, like a domestic violence offense. You must demonstrate to the court that the child you intend to bring to your home will be physically, emotionally, and mentally safe.

In some instances, parents with a drug problem or a conviction involving a drug or alcohol-related offense within ten years are not allowed to adopt. Other crimes that could impact your efforts to adopt a child include allowing a child to access a gun or crimes against children. The judge will only let you adopt if they are sure the child will be well-taken care of.

Driving Privileges

Driving is a privilege in California. You receive that privilege after acquiring the necessary skills and obtaining all driving requirements, including a valid driver's license. You can easily lose your driving privilege for failing to abide by driving rules and regulations. For instance, driving under the influence is a common offense that could result in lost driving privileges.

If you have a criminal record related to a driving charge or conviction, you will lose your right to drive a vehicle on California roads, depending on the gravity of the offense. For instance, first DUI offenders could lose their driving privileges for six months after conviction. Law enforcement officers confiscate your driver's license immediately after they arrest you for DUI. You are only given an interim driver's license for thirty days, after which you will not be allowed to drive until a judge reinstates your driving privileges.

The period you lose your driving rights increases with the number of DUI convictions in your record within ten years. For instance, a fourth DUI offender is considered a felon and could lose their driving rights for four years, depending on the severity of the offense. After a DUI conviction, you must serve your sentence and undergo drug or alcohol treatment to reapply for your driving privilege.

Your Gun Rights

Californians have gun rights that allow adults to own or possess firearms. You can apply for a license to obtain or use a gun. But, you could lose those rights after a criminal conviction.

A gun provides an extra layer of protection, especially with the increasing crime rate in the country today. You can quickly defend yourself from a burglar or anyone that attacks you at home or in the streets. Some people also keep firearms for hunting and similar recreational activities. Either way, you want to be sure you can purchase or use a gun whenever necessary. But your right to possess or use a firearm is lost after a felony conviction.

You could maintain your gun rights after a misdemeanor conviction but cannot use or own a firearm after a felony conviction. Some convictions call for total infringement, while the others call for a temporary loss of your gun rights.  You will not be issued a license for obtaining or using a firearm after the sentence. And if you already have a gun, you will be ordered to surrender it immediately after the ruling.

Immigration Status

Every year, thousands of foreigners come into the U.S for various reasons, including education, tourism, work, or to join other family members already in the U.S. You must abide by the laws of the state where you live as an immigrant to avoid having problems with immigration. The U.S immigration department is very strict on the kind of conduct you must maintain while living and working here. A slight mistake could result in forceful removal and a subsequent ban from coming back into the country.

A criminal record will attract severe immigration consequences for an immigrant. Facing an arrest and criminal charges could result in an arrest and detention by the ICE, after which immigration could decide to have you removed from the U.S.

A criminal conviction could impact your efforts to obtain a green card to move to the U.S. You will also face difficulties changing your immigration status from temporary to permanent or becoming naturalized. These are serious repercussions for people who already have jobs or families in the U.S or those aspiring to migrate for studies or other reasons.

Some criminal convictions call for the immediate removal of an immigrant from the U.S. It means that you will no longer be allowed to live or work in the U.S and can be deported any time after the conviction.

It Impacts a Court's Decision on Subsequent Crimes

A criminal record paints a negative image about you to other people, including law enforcement and criminal justice system members. A first offender will likely receive a lenient treatment after an arrest than a subsequent offender. You are treated as a criminal even before the judge's verdict is out.

For instance, people with a criminal record are likely to be denied bail or have their bails set high after an arrest. You will least likely be released on personal recognizance. The court can conclude that you will commit another crime if freed on bail.

Additionally, some prior criminal convictions determine the kind of conviction you receive for a subsequent crime. For instance, California has the Three-Strikes law, a sentencing guideline that increases a defendant's sentence based on their previous criminal record. If you have a criminal conviction for a serious or violent-related felony and commit a similar offense, your sentence increases way over what the law provides for the specific crime. A third strike attracts a prison time of 25 years to life.

Also, DUI in California is a priorable offense whose penalties increase with the number of prior DUI convictions in a defendant's criminal record. A second and subsequent DUI offender will likely receive harsher sentences than a first DUI offender.

Efforts to Rent or Lease

If you are not a homeowner already, you will likely need to rent or lease a home to live in. Some people rent business premises and other real estate properties for various reasons. You have a right to fair treatment when renting or leasing. However, landlords will always be skeptical about renting or leasing to people with a criminal background.

A criminal record exposes you to unfair treatment by other people, including relatives and friends. It becomes worse when you want to start afresh in a place where no one knows about you and your criminal past. People will treat you differently regardless of your efforts to transform your life.

Like prospective employers, landlords conduct background checks on individuals and groups interested in renting or leasing their properties. A landlord will likely deny you the chance once they realize you have a criminal past.

Some residential places in California do not allow anyone with a criminal background. They consider it a way to protect themselves from criminals yet to transform their lives.

With that, you are left with only a few options. Sometimes you must pay more than you could have spent on rent or lease if you did not have a criminal background.

Find a Competent Los Angeles Record Expungement Attorney Near Me

Is your criminal past affecting essential aspects of your life, like your social and career lives?

It could be time to consider what you must do to expunge that record. It will give you a new life and starting point that will enable you to live a future life free of crime and its consequences. We assist our clients in Los Angeles through the expungement process at Record Expungement Attorney. Our services ensure that your damaging criminal records are erased and out of public view. Call us at 424-286-1516 for more information regarding our services.