If you’ve recently been arrested, chances are good that you’re concerned about your future. That arrest may go on your record, and a conviction will look even worse. It can affect your future going forward. 

However, many people choose instead to accept their penalties and their conviction. They feel that they have no chance of fighting back, so they choose not to. Sadly, that decision can affect your life more than you first realize. 

It’s important to understand the full weight of your penalties. The costs may be higher than you want to pay, so make sure you know what to expect. 

The Aftermath of a Conviction

When you’re first arrested, jail time might seem like a given. You might also be concerned about the fines against you, which may be especially high. For felony charges, you could be facing thousands of dollars. That can put you in significant debt. 

For many people with charges, their biggest concern might be prison time. For some convictions, that could be as severe as a life sentence or the death penalty. If you’re not able to seek out parole or an early release, that may mean a lifetime in prison without a chance to return to your former life. 

Long-Term Consequences for Chicago’s Convicted 

Unfortunately, your consequences don’t just end when you’re released from prison. Instead, you could be facing penalties for years after you’ve finished your sentence and returned to your normal life. 

Your record isn’t simply cleared by serving your time. Instead, your criminal record will follow you, and it will come up on background checks. Your job search and any apartment hunting will certainly be impacted. Many employers refused to hire those with convictions on their record, and landlords may have restrictions on their living spaces.

Worse, it’s not easy to have those records removed. You’ll need to have your record expunged, which can be a lengthy process. Worse, it not only takes time to complete, but you also might not be eligible for expungement. Certain types of crimes cannot be expunged, leaving you with a criminal record for life. 

Don’t Just Accept the Penalties 

Just because you’re accused of a crime doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to defend yourself. No matter how dire your case may seem, you may have a chance to fight back against a conviction. Even if the penalties weren’t so harsh, you may still need the help of a lawyer, like those at Chicago Trusted Attorneys

It’s important to remember that your penalties go beyond some time in prison and financial consequences. A criminal record is a punishment all its own, one that can impact your future and your chances for a happy, healthy future. 

If you’re facing criminal charges, make sure you understand the consequences before you plead so you know what you stand to lose if you’re found guilty.