Consequences of a Criminal Case
Criminal charges carry all sorts of potential negative consequences, some obvious, some not.
Your Criminal Record
The best way to keep a criminal allegation from affecting your record is for your lawyer to stop an investigation before a charge is filed. Once a criminal case is filed against you, it will show up on your criminal record as a pending charge. A conviction will remain on your record forever (unless it qualifies for expunction and the court grants a petition for expunction). Deferred adjudication probation does not result in a conviction, but it does still stay on your record unless the court grants a petition for nondisclosure. Some cases (like family violence) are not eligible for nondisclosure even if you receive deferred adjudication.
Most people think about how a criminal accusation may impact their criminal record, but there are other consequences many people don’t consider.
Driver’s License Suspensions
DWI (as well as intoxication assault, and intoxication manslaughter charges) carry driver’s license suspensions. For instance, for a first time DWI, the accused faces two possible license suspensions: immediately upon arrest and at the conclusion of the case if there is a conviction. Many people don’t realize, however, that it’s not just DWI that can result in a license suspension. Drug convictions also result in driver’s license suspensions. Make sure to consult your lawyer about the specifics of your case and what you can do to avoid or mitigate the suspension.
If you are a professional with a license controlled by a state board (like a doctor, nurse, lawyer, et cetera), a criminal case can have huge implications for your license and thus your ability to work. State boards have rules about whether and when you must report an arrest, a charge, conviction, et cetera. A knowledgable criminal lawyer will help you navigate this important and potentially treacherous area so you can preserve your livelihood.
If you are not a US citizen, an arrest and a criminal charge can have devastating immigration consequences leading to horrible outcomes such as deportation, removal, and denial of naturalization. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will work hand-in-hand with an immigration lawyer to make sure you get the best possible outcome – not just in the criminal case, but for your immigration status.