From minor infractions like traffic tickets to more serious charges, run-ins with the law can affect your life in various ways. Luckily, simple tickets for speeding or disobeying traffic laws generally do not show up on your criminal record, whereas driving infractions such as DUIs do.

Unfortunately, your criminal record is a factor that can significantly affect your future and long-term success. So how exactly can a criminal record impact your future?

Consequences Of A Criminal Record

People will make countless mistakes throughout their lifetime, but some mistakes can have lasting effects. Serious criminal charges can haunt you throughout your life in various ways. Most of these have to do with background checks. Your criminal record will show up when anyone runs a background check on you for reasons like:

  • Potential future employment
  • Applying for a loan or mortgage
  • Applying for scholarships or academic enrollment

When criminal charges appear on a background check, they may negatively impact your chances of being approved. These consequences can make your life more difficult, but the trouble doesn’t stop there. Some additional ways a criminal record can affect you long-term include:

  • Subsequent criminal charges – having a prior criminal record can result in more severe punishment in future crimes
  • Custody – a criminal record can limit or prohibit child custody rights
  • Certain privileges – in some cases, serious criminal charges can result in loss of privileges such as owning a firearm and a driver’s licenses

Criminal charges can follow you around for the rest of your life, sometimes referred to as collateral consequences, even if you’ve already served your punishment. Your criminal record is serious and can impact your future, long-term success and happiness and limit your future opportunities. However, in recent years there have been various attempts to mitigate or roll back these consequences. Consulting with your defense attorney may help you get a better understanding of your situation.