All it takes is a mistake or an officer misunderstanding a situation for you to end up arrested. All of a sudden, you could face criminal charges that could completely derail your plans for the upcoming months and possibly the rest of your life.
Even if the charges against you seem relatively minor, you need to take them seriously and recognize that they could have a permanent, negative impact on your future. Even non-violent offenses like driving on a suspended license or a technical drunk driving offense where no one got hurt can turn into a career-ending nightmare.
Why do people need to fight seriously against even relatively minor charges?
You could lose your license
Some of the criminal offenses that people take less seriously than others include driving offenses, like driving under the influence (DUI) charges. People frequently assume that a guilty plea is the best option because the penalties they face will be minor. However, there could be jail time, large fines and license suspension included in someone’s sentence for a DUI.
Losing your license even temporarily can affect not just your finances but your career. You could lose your job or look like a less dedicated employee because you can no longer make it to work on time consistently.
You could lose your voting rights
Some criminal convictions can actually prevent you from having your say in Tennessee elections. Tennessee is one of the worst states for disenfranchisement or losing the right to vote after a criminal conviction. Researchers estimate that roughly one in 13 adults in Tennessee cannot vote because of a criminal record.
A criminal record can affect future opportunities
Even a non-violent offense on your criminal record will forever make prospective employers question whether you are the best option. A criminal record can cost you promotions and job offers. It can also restrict your education.
Some of the more prestigious institutions of higher education will not admit those with criminal records or do not provide any sort of financial aid to those with a criminal background. Certain offenses can also have a long-term impact on a student’s eligibility for federal student aid and private scholarships through outside organizations. The only way to avoid all of the consequences a criminal record can create is to vigorously defend against the charges that you face.
Fighting back against criminal accusations can protect your future, your freedom and your finances.