A criminal arrest can lead to a criminal conviction and that can change a person’s life and future dramatically. Even if a person is convicted of a crime and does not go to jail, the conviction alone can drastically change what jobs are available to them, whether their current employer will want to retain them, the terms of their child custody, the ability to receive certain governmental benefits.Withhold vs. Adjudication of Guilt
When a person enters a plea to a criminal charge, or is convicted of a criminal charge, the Judge will determine whether or not that person is “Adjudicated Guilty” of the charge, or whether to “Withhold Adjudication.” The difference between the two is simple:
“Adjudicated Guilty” means convicted, whereas a “Withhold of Adjudication” does not count as a conviction in most cases.
Have you ever filled out a job application where you are asked, “have you ever been convicted of a crime”? If you have been Adjudicated Guilty for any previous criminal charge, then your answer is “yes.” Having to answer yes, even if you never went to jail, can be detrimental to your success in getting a job.Enhancements
An Adjudication of Guilt on some charges can mean that you are eligible to have your crime “enhanced” by the State. Certain crimes such as Battery, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and Driving While License Suspended or Revoked can get worse the more convictions you have. A simple misdemeanor can turn into a felony if you have prior convictions of these crimes in your past.
Enhancements are a big reason why you should not defend a case by yourself. Entering a plea to a charge can have unforeseen consequences that may come back to haunt you years in the future. This is the type of information you need to know before you can enter a plea to a criminal case. This is why it is important to hire a knowledgeable and experienced attorney before resolving any criminal matter.Split Sentences
In some situations where a person is convicted of a crime, they are sentenced to what is called a “Split Sentence.” What is a “Split Sentence”? A Split Sentence means that part of your sentence is spent in jail, and part of your sentence is spent on probation. That means that a person who is serving a split sentence is released from jail into the custody of a probation officer and is required to follow all rules and protocol of probation once they are released.
This can drastically limit your ability to work once you are released from prison. If you are an over-the-road truck driver, you cannot leave the State without permission, and will not be able to work in your own profession without permission from the court. Most of the time, probation will even contact your employer to confirm that you do work for them, which may tip off your employer of your prior criminal history if they are not already aware.Background Checks for Jobs
In most jobs, companies are now doing background checks before they will hire you, especially for large, nationwide companies. If you are applying for a local business in DeLand, or Daytona Beach, employers will go onto the Volusia County Clerk of Court website (clerk.org) and search your name to see what type of local convictions you may have. Because most companies do not want employees with previous criminal convictions, they weed out unfit candidates by performing a background check on each applicant. It is important that you have the right attorney who will tell you how any crime may affect your ability to obtain employment.
At Thompson Law, P.A., Attorney Thompson schedules an in-person free consultation with each client before you decide whether to hire. While you need an opportunity to choose your lawyer, Attorney Thompson takes the time to learn about each client’s individual situations and needs and works tirelessly to educate you about your case and avoid a criminal conviction. Thompson Law, P.A. has a philosophy that is to put you in the same position you were in before you were arrested. If you need a lawyer to defend you in an active case, contact Attorney Thompson for a free consultation. If you need a lawyer to help you with your needs while on probation, contact Attorney Thompson to discuss your needs. To schedule a free consultation in Thompson Law, P.A.’s Deland office, or Daytona Beach office, call (386) 280-4977, or toll free at (386) 280-4977.