A criminal conviction comes with a higher cost than many people realize. There are the obvious penalties like potential prison time and hefty fines.
Convictions also carry a stigma that can last years or even your entire lifetime. Here are a few effects of that extra cost:
Reduced educational opportunities
According to the Atlantic Magazine, around 66 percent of all colleges use background checks in admissions. If you are convicted of a crime, your options for higher education can be immediately reduced.
Furthermore, federal law prohibits felons from some grants that help pay for education. This creates yet another barrier for those with a conviction from ever pursuing a degree.
Less housing options
There is no law explicitly refusing to allow those with a criminal history in public housing. Many property managers will do just that, however. Four out of every five landlords will use the results of a background check to screen tenants.
A conviction can prevent your family from being accepted into a housing complex. It can force you to move.
The struggle for employment
Some employers are getting better at accepting criminal histories in job applicants. Unfortunately, many companies still view a conviction as a red flag. Some will even use a criminal history as a reason to disqualify a candidate altogether. Nationwide, certain convictions bar people from over 800 different job occupations.
That whittles down your employment choices very quickly. The job discrimination, combined with the lack of education opportunities, makes job options scarce.
Fighting wrongful convictions
The cost of a criminal conviction highlights how important it is to fight against being wrongfully convicted of a crime.
If you’re facing wrongful conviction, a skilled attorney can help you defend your rights.