For many people, the worst part of adverse interaction with the criminal justice system is the paper trail that comes with it.
Often, it never goes away.
And here’s a fact: In millions of instances, the criminal record that sticks with and stigmatizes an individual results even absent a conviction; as noted in recent article on the enduring effects of criminal records, “Millions of Americans have [them], even if they have never been found guilty of a crime.”
No reasonable person would adjudge that as being anything other than unduly harsh, because the consequences that come with a permanent record smudge can be dire, indeed.
Who gets the job when one candidate is “clean” and the other has an enduring entry related to a past run-in with the law? Between those two people, who is more likely to be turned down after submitting a housing application, when applying for college or when seeking to enter the military?
The above-cited article makes a very relevant point concerning the Internet, namely, that it has decentralized information so much that once-controlled adverse information is now widely and easily available via just a few online clicks.
The bottom line: Any person can be quickly scanned by a prospective employer, a neighbor, a business associate, a potential life partner — anybody.
The stakes are always high in California and elsewhere across the country when an individual faces the considerable might of state and/or federal law enforcers. For many reasons, it is critically important for any targeted person to secure timely and aggressive legal counsel to mitigate adverse consequences to the fullest extent possible.
And one of those reasons is this: Future opportunities are at stake and can be materially compromised by a criminal record history.