If you are facing criminal charges, you will want to contact a Fairfax criminal attorney, even if the charges seem minor. Having a criminal record may negatively impact your career and life choices beyond the threat of jail time. You want an attorney to protect your rights to the greatest extent possible.

Impact on Careers

Many employers will not even consider an application from someone with a criminal history, if disclosed early in the process. For that reason, several cities and states have “ban the box” legislation that prohibit employers from asking about criminal histories on application forms. This gives applicants with criminal histories a chance to discuss their skills and experience with employers. However, the employer can still perform background checks later on in the process. Therefore, your job offer may be conditional on a clean record check. In many sensitive positions, such as working in healthcare, with children, or in security functions, a criminal history on the background check will automatically disqualify you.

Professional licensing boards may deny or remove licenses when a person receives a criminal conviction. You may be able to petition the board to reconsider your case, especially if the conviction does not relate to your field of work. However, many states have a broad requirement that license applicants be of “good moral character.” Interpretation of this requirement is left up to the board.

Loss of Voting Rights

States vary in how they handle the voting rights of people convicted of felonies. Some states never take voting rights away from felons. Others only remove rights during the period of incarceration. Some states require a waiting period after incarceration, along with full payment of fines and restitution. Keep in mind that even though the law may restore your voting rights, it is still up to you to re-register to vote.

Criminal convictions can cause you to lose your career and voting rights. For these reasons, you should consult with an attorney about your case.

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