Don’t Let a Criminal Record Destroy Your Life

Handcuffs and fingerprint records

It might come as a surprise, but even Britons have criminal records. However, that’s hardly an indication these people are dangerous or make hardened criminals. Most of them happen to have been wayward souls during their youth before realising the error of their ways.

As such, they are likely to have committed one or just a few offences before they became law-abiding members of society. Unfortunately, the legal system is not as forgiving or even accommodating. If you’re facing the possibility of criminal conviction, be sure to retain the services of excellent solicitors in London.

An Ongoing Vendetta

Unfortunate as it sounds, a criminal conviction marks you as a pariah, and the state and the society at large will go to great lengths to alienate you. Recent reports indicate that ex-offenders have a tough time reintegrating into society after paying their debts. That’s not to mean that they are incorrigible but that the system can’t cut them some slack.

Eager to protect their business interests, employers will often run a background check to ascertain the credibility of their prospective workers. Every year, these checks unearth about three-quarters of a million records of people with a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, most of these records are more than ten years old, and only some are relevant to the jobs that the person is applying for.

Ideally, the disclosure of criminal past is mandatory when the job in question entails a position of trust or working with a vulnerable group such as children. These days, however, firms will run a check even when filling a receptionist or a driver’s position.

Increased Chances of Relapse

handcuffed man

While the government is committed to helping people with a criminal past but have reformed their ways to improve their lives, the progress is dismal at best. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act lets most convictions to become spent after a specified time limit. That means you don’t have to reveal it to potential employers when looking for employment. While that might seem like a great idea, it has some significant shortcomings.

If you’re imprisoned for six months or less, your record becomes spent after two years. Sentences of up to 30 months become spent after four years, while those up to four years take up to seven years. Any sentence above four years sticks with you for the rest of your life.

Even sentences that don’t send you to jail, such as community service or a fine, come with rehabilitation period. They become spent after one year.

Lowered Quality of Life

The Rehabilitation Act tries to strike a delicate balance between safeguarding the general public welfare and supporting your rehabilitation process. One of the most significant shortcomings is the rehabilitation period. Ex-prisoners will have a hard time getting gainful employment during this period as good employers won’t touch them. Not when their criminal conviction is on records. That makes many ex-prisoners revert to their wayward ways to survive and earn a living.

Rather than take chances when facing a criminal conviction, you should retain the services of a credible solicitor to argue your case. That way, you can either get off easy or have the charges dismissed. At the very least, you want to avoid getting a criminal conviction added to your record as it can effectively ruin your life.

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