How a Criminal Conviction in New Jersey can Affect Your Life
What are the Consequences if I’m Convicted of a Crime in NJ?
If you’ve been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you may be wondering what penalties you’re facing if convicted. While the immediate consequences of a criminal conviction can be serious, including a term of imprisonment, driver’s license suspension, significant fines, or probation, the longer-term repercussions of being convicted often come as a harsh and unwelcome surprise down the line. Having a criminal charge on your record can affect your life in a variety of seemingly unrelated areas, including employment, education, finances, family life, and even your immigration status. These unintended consequences are often coupled with damage to your reputation and relationships personally and professionally. In so many situations, people convicted of crimes in New Jersey feel like one transgression ends up being a weight that drags them down for years into the future. Understanding the consequences of a conviction if you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey is crucial, particularly before you make any decisions about how – and who – should handle your case.
Can a Criminal Conviction Affect my Job?
Being convicted of a crime can jeopardize your current employment situation as well as keeping you from getting a job that you want in future. Typically, a potential employer will ask you to fill out an application that contains a question about your criminal history. In many cases, you will have to answer a question like: “have you ever been arrested?” “ever convicted of a crime?” or “do you have a criminal record?” All of these can present a problem when seeking a new job because employers usually run a criminal background check to verify your answers. A conviction can also lead to firing for certain jobs, such as state employees and individuals with professional licenses.
Can a Criminal Conviction Affect my College?
When you apply to a college or university, the application process will inevitably include questions about your criminal record. If you have been convicted of a felony or even a disorderly persons offense (New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor), you may not be accepted into your college of choice. This is not always true and sometimes, a prior record will not deter your admission, but it depends on the university you’re applying to get into. If you are already enrolled in college in New Jersey, a criminal conviction can get you expelled or put on probation with the school. Whether or not your university finds out about your arrest, whether the charges occurred on campus or involved another student, and the nature of the crime itself will all be factors in determining the outcome.
Can a Criminal Conviction Impact my Finances?
After you pay the initial fines, court costs, and fees included in your sentence, you may find that your finances are affected by a criminal conviction in other ways. Obviously, losing your job or not being able to reach your full employment potential can impact you financially for the rest of your life. In addition, a conviction for certain charges in New Jersey, such as drug possession (possession of CDS), can result in suspension of your driver’s license, which may in turn drive up your car insurance premiums. A felony conviction may even drive up your rates for life insurance or homeowner’s insurance, as these applications often involve questions about your criminal record.
Can a Criminal Conviction Affect my Kids?
Being convicted of a crime can have drastic consequences for your family. You can lose custody of your children, have an investigation opened by the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP), be forced to comply with random visits from a caseworker, or have specified visitation or supervision. This is especially true if your case involves endangering the welfare of a child, domestic violence, or a sex crime. If you are considering adoption, the process will involve background checks and significant probing into your past. Often, a criminal conviction will prevent you from ever adopting a child or even obtaining guardianship of a family member’s child.
Can a Criminal Conviction get me Deported?
If you are not a permanent U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction can negatively impact your immigration status in a number of ways. If you’re convicted of a violent crime, it is more likely that you will be deported. Additionally, criminal charges involving theft, including shoplifting, are considered “Crimes of Moral Turpitude,” which means you can be denied a Visa, Green Card, or citizenship if you are convicted.
Can I Remove a Criminal Conviction from my Record?
In New Jersey, you may be able to erase a conviction from your criminal record through the process of expungement. However, there are certain eligibility requirements and waiting periods depending on the specific charges you want to remove. There are also certain indictable crimes that are ineligible for expungement ever, such as sexual assault and robbery. On top of that, you cannot expunge more than one felony conviction unless the charges occurred in connection with the same case or were a part of a crime spree that occurred within a short period.
How do I Avoid the Punishments for a Criminal Conviction in NJ?
The penalties for criminal charges in New Jersey are extensive, with a possible prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines in the immediate future and consequences that reverberate through many other facets of your life in the coming years. The best step you can take to minimize or avoid the punishments of a criminal charge is to seek legal counself from an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, contact the knowledgeable criminal lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm today at (201)-556-1570. We will answer all of your questions in a free consultation and if you so choose, get started on building your best defense.