Facing criminal charges is among the most stressful things a person can experience. Simply being approached by law enforcement as a potential suspect can be traumatic enough, let alone when later being detained and charged.
Criminal trials can go on for many months and the impact is also felt by those around you. Often, it is difficult to keep these matters private, and it is likely that your employer will find out eventually. Outlined below are some key reasons why defending criminal charges is crucial for your employment.
Convictions may prevent you from getting a job
Finding work can be difficult at the best of times. Having a criminal record or pending charges could add to the strain of the process. Companies may perform background checks to see whether you have convictions or have been arrested recently. Even if you are qualified and have presented yourself well, the uncovering of legal troubles could prevent you from getting the job.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the law in this area. Each state has different approaches in this aspect, with South Dakota generally advising that background checks be considered on a case-by-case basis. Professionals who work with children or vulnerable people are likely to face more thorough scrutiny.
Legal issues can affect your current position
You may be a model employee who has been with the company for a number of years. A conviction or criminal charges have the potential to change all of this. Employees are often tempted to cover up or lie about legal issues, but this could only make matters worse. If your boss discovers that you have convictions and have lied about them, you could face disciplinary measures.
It is important to remember that you have a presumption of innocence and should not face persecution for a crime you haven’t committed. Even if you have made a mistake in the past, this should not be held against you forever. Being familiar with your legal rights is the first step to building a sound legal defense.