Life With a Criminal Record

Being arresting or facing criminal charges is scary for anyone, regardless if you are innocent or not. But the effects that come afterward are even more damaging.

A criminal charge or conviction could seriously disrupt your life in all facets, from work, to your social circle, to your family dynamic. You may also have serious feelings of regret, fear, intimidation, or inadequacy. Regardless of what you have done, you have the power to rebuild your life. After a criminal charge or arrest, follow these tips to keep moving forward.

Accept What Happened

In 2012 alone, American law enforcement made an estimated 12,196,959 arrests. Noone is perfect and we all make mistakes. The difference is accepting your situation and making the conscious decision to move on and change your behavior. Don’t beat yourself up over it forever.

Know Life Will Be Different

Expecting your life to be the same after a criminal charge is simply a fallacy. Your new life will come with some uphill battles. You will not have certain privileges, possibly being stripped of your ability to vote and own a firearm, and you may be forced to relocate and look for new employment opportunities. You may also lose your rights to your children. While tough, the sooner you accept and embrace change, the easier it will be.

Re-evaluate Your Relationships

Chances are, your charge had an affect on your interpersonal relationships. Taking the time to reevaluate your relationships, which ones you prioritize, the ones worth rebuilding, and the ones that may have contributed to your criminal charge, can help you start a new, positive chapter.  

Stay Away from the Media Circus

As tempting as it is, avoid reading about yourself in the news. Tabloids, comments, and stories may get the facts wrong, but instead of proving yourself or correcting them, stay away from the negativity all together. Focusing on the past will only make it more difficult to rebuild your reputation in the present.

Hire an Expungement Attorney

If you are eligible for expungement, consider investing money in hiring an attorney. Although online expungement resources exist, an expungement attorney can use his or her connections with local judges and courthouses to your advantage.

Besides giving you peace of mind, granted expungements can also help improve career opportunities. According to San Diego criminal defense attorney George H. Ramos, “If private employers ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can respond with ‘no’.”

Consider a New Business Venture

After a criminal charge, you may find your employment choices are slimmer than before your arrest. If you not quite eligible for expungement, consider a new business venture: making your own business. Working for yourself can not only give you the financial stability, but also help grow your confidence.

Final Thoughts

As scary and damaging a criminal charge or conviction may seem, know you have the power to continue moving forward. By utilizing these 6 tips, you can start to rebuild your life in the most positive way. Seeking out new opportunities, strengthening meaningful relationships, and leaving the past where it belongs can guide you on the next step of your journey.