Many people do not care just how damaging it is to have a criminal conviction on their records until it is too late. More than 11 million Britons have criminal histories, with most of these happening before the age of 30 years. Despite many crimes occurring due to the folly of youth, they continue to haunt most people for the rest of their lives.
It is not enough that someone pays their debt to society by serving jail time, as they continue to suffer long after their sentences are over. With the help of reputable solicitor firms in London, you can do something and avoid such mistakes do not ruin your life.
A slippery slope
Once you have spent time behind bars, you are marked with a stain that is hard to shake off. Everyone in society will view you differently and treat you with a healthy dose of suspicion. That happens even when you do not pose a threat to their property, well-being, or safety.
The widespread discrimination against ex-convicts make their lies incredibly hard and challenging. They have trouble adjusting on the outside as society makes it difficult to secure gainful employment. Most employers will carry out a background check when hiring new employees. In most cases, they will not hire someone with a criminal background.
Despite the government’s effort in trying to help people with a history of crime reintegrate into society with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, the results are not promising. The Act lets criminal convictions fall off your record after they become spent.
A high chance of reoffending
It takes at least two years for sentences of six months or less in prison to become spent. If you spent more than 30 months in jail, the record stays on for four years. Prison sentences of up to four years stay on for a total of seven years.
That means you have to wait out at least two years after your release from prison to get gainful employment. That leaves many former prisoners in a precarious situation financially. In a society where everyone is unwilling to accept that they are reformed, most often turn back to crime to make ends meet.
That marks the beginning of a downward spiral that eventually becomes the life of many ex-prisoners. If arrested for the second time, the court will treat you as a repeat offender, which carries an even stricter sentence. That ruins any hope of ever leading a normal life as a law-abiding citizen.
Declining quality of life
Other than hampering your ability to secure gainful employment, a criminal record haunts you in other spheres of life. In a bid to safeguard their investment and their tenants, landlords often carry out a background check. Most people are less likely to rent out to someone with a criminal history.
After causing you to take a low paying job to earn a living, your criminal record also limits your choice of places to live. That might narrow your option to the unsafe and undesirable neighbourhoods.
Most people do not realise the far-reaching consequences of having a criminal conviction on their records until it is too late. You should treat every criminal charge as a fight for your life because that is what it is. The outcome can make or break your entire life.