The response of many individuals who are facing criminal charges in Kentucky is often to plead guilty. Even people shocked by their arrest and who insist that they did not break the law may plead guilty because they view it as the faster, less embarrassing, and less risky way of resolving the legal claims against them.
What many criminal defendants in Kentucky fail to understand is exactly how limiting a guilty plea can be. A guilty plea can follow someone for the rest of their lives in some cases. A criminal record tends to rear its ugly head most consequentially under the following few circumstances.
When changing jobs
Whether someone with a criminal record wants to apply for a job with a different company or seeks internal advancement opportunities, any significant change in employment typically comes with a background check. A significant criminal conviction could therefore keep someone from developing their career.
When applying for college or financial aid
A criminal conviction at any point in one’s life could halt their education. Gaining admission to an institution of higher education can be more of a challenge with a criminal record. Those who do find a school willing to overlook their criminal history may have a harder time securing financial aid. Many schools offering financial aid and private scholarship organizations perform background checks when selecting recipients.
When attempting to rent a property
Many residential real estate rental markets have been quite competitive in recent years, which means that landlords can often be a bit more selective about the tenants that they choose for their properties. Not only will some landlords refuse to rent to people with criminal records, but many landlords work with private background check companies that will report the most serious charges brought against someone even if they plead to a lesser offense. It may be much more difficult for those with a criminal record to find a place to live, especially if they want to live in a particular community or school district.
Those who have been accused of criminal offenses in Kentucky have two ways to prevent a criminal record from limiting their lives forever. They can defend against those charges when initially accused or they can potentially seek expungement of certain criminal records after they’ve been convicted. Thankfully, discussing criminal matters with an attorney can help someone plan to avoid a criminal record or possibly eliminate an existing one.