Most people know that a criminal conviction can result in jail time and a fine, or both. Additionally, a conviction might come with community service and restitution, where you pay the victim of your crime money to make up for the damage you have caused.
Criminal convictions also carry some surprising negative collateral consequences of which you should be aware. If you are accused of a crime, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney right away.
A Conviction can Make it Harder to Get a Job
Most employers will consider your criminal background before extending a job offer. This might sound unfair, but it is the way business owners have operated for years. Few want to take a chance on an employee with a criminal history.
Although Chicago has adopted a “ban the box” ordinance, you should be aware of its limitations. This ban, as well as similar laws that apply throughout the state, does not prohibit an employer from considering your criminal background. Instead, an employer must wait to ask about criminal history until:
They determine you are qualified for the job and offer an interview, or
They extend a conditional offer
As you can see, an employer can interview you, ask about your criminal history, and then not hire you. Unless you have a unique skill set, chances are there are other people who can do a job just as well as you, so many people with criminal histories will lose out on jobs once their background becomes known.
A Conviction Might Frustrate Your Ability to Rent an Apartment
Like employers, many landlords also ask about criminal history and run a background check to confirm your answers. If you have a criminal conviction, many landlords will not rent to you, which is their right. It can be difficult to find a landlord willing to take you on. For this reason, you should do your best to fight a criminal conviction.
A University can Ask about Your Criminal History
About 60% of colleges and universities around the county also ask about criminal history. Anything that looks fishy to the university can be grounds not to admit you, regardless of your qualifications. As a result, many young people with a conviction might not get into their preferred college or might be unable to transfer after a year or two. This is just one more reason why you should take a criminal charge seriously and fight it, if possible.
Accused of a Crime? Meet with a Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago and Schaumburg
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, we realize that no crime is really minor. Even if you do not spend a night in jail, the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction are far-reaching. For this reason, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side.
Attorney Minkus has represented criminal defendants for over three decades and has handled every criminal case imaginable. To schedule your free consultation, please call 847-966-0300 as soon as possible.