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Blog - Consequences of a Criminal conviction

The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction on Your Future

By Resources

Long after an individual has finished serving their sentence, the stamp of a criminal record often has an ongoing detrimental impact on an individual’s life. Often referred to as “collateral consequences” of a criminal record, a record can impact immigration status, employment, travel, and housing. Ultimately, a criminal record has the ability to affect one’s personal, professional, and social well-being.

While criminal records have a negative impact across the country, the level of protection against this discrimination varies across provinces. Alberta is one of four provinces with a Human Rights Act that provides no protection from discrimination based on criminal record status. As such, there is generally no recourse for such discrimination despite the immense impact it can have on your life.

If you are considering entering a guilty plea, it is important that you consult experienced counsel so that you can fully understand the impact the record will have on your life specifically. For many offences, particularly if you are a first-time offender, there are non-criminal resolutions that may be available to you. Ultimately, a strong defence is vital to minimizing the lasting impact on one’s future.

Two of the most common collateral consequences—employment & housing—are expanded upon below. For further information, please contact us!

Finding Employment with a Criminal Conviction

Many employers conduct background checks as a routine part of the hiring process, thereby making it challenging for individuals with a criminal history to secure employment. Certain professions require licenses, and a criminal record may disqualify individuals from obtaining or renewing these licenses.

Even if you find employment, individuals with criminal records may find it challenging to advance in their careers due to their past. Jobs that require a vulnerable sector check—one of the most detailed forms of criminal record checks—often will not employ anyone with a criminal record as these jobs require working in a position of trust with children or elderly persons.

Finding Housing with a Criminal Record

Securing a house can be significantly more difficult with a criminal record. Rental applications often include criminal background checks, and landlords may be hesitant to rent to individuals whose record shows convictions. Moreover, public housing authorities may have policies restricting individuals with certain criminal convictions from residing at their properties.

Having Davidson Gregory in Your Corner

A robust defence is the first line of defence against the far-reaching consequences of a criminal conviction. At Davidson Gregory, we will strategically build a defence to mitigate charges and maximize the potential for alternative resolutions and diversion programs to lessen the impact on one’s future.

The consequences of a criminal conviction can extend far beyond the confines of a courtroom. The impact on employment, housing, financial and personal relationships is substantial. However, with a strong defence, individuals can navigate these challenges and work towards a brighter future. Contact our team today.