Having a criminal record can make life extremely difficult. Getting the job or house you want with a felony, or even a misdemeanor, can be impossible. When a person is facing criminal charges, he or she may plead guilty to a lesser charge simply to get the uncomfortable process over with. This makes sense, criminal prosecution is rarely a pleasant process. But considering the consequences of having a record, doing everything possible to avoid one is in your best interest.
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
In Massachusetts, a felony conviction will likely result in difficulty finding future employment and in the inability to vote. Certain jobs, including some in the state and federal sectors, will be completely off-limits to someone with a felony conviction. And if you’ve been convicted of a sex offense, forget about working in the school system. School districts simply do not hire people with sex offense-related convictions. For these reasons, among others, it is crucial that you hire experienced legal counsel if you are facing felony charges. A skilled MA criminal defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you have been charged with a felony offense.
Although not as serious as felonies, misdemeanors can still have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to obtain housing and employment, and can even impact auto insurance rates and credit score. Young people are most vulnerable to the consequences of a criminal record. A conviction can effectively ruin a young person’s life. When a 22-year-old college student receives a felony conviction for a hazing-related offense, for example, his life will likely take an entirely different course. And this change in course is rarely a good one. For non-U.S. citizens, any type of conviction can be devastating; even a misdemeanor can lead to deportation or denial of re-entry into the U.S.
Keep in mind that criminal convictions are public information. The harm to your reputation and rights can be the most difficult pill to swallow. Someone with a felony conviction will never be able to possess a firearm or even to serve on a jury. If you were convicted of a sex crime in MA, you will also need to register as a sex offender. A Boston criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights and reputation if you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense.
What is Expungement?
The process of expungement basically means having a criminal record sealed from public view. In Massachusetts, individuals convicted of certain crimes can apply to have their records sealed after the passing of a certain amount of time. For misdemeanor offenses, the waiting period is five years, and it’s 10 years for felony convictions. Some crimes, including sex offenses and firearms offenses can never be sealed. Although expungement seals your record of public view, there are certain Continue reading