When people face charges and know they are innocent, they might believe the truth will literally set them free. This does happen quite often, but there is no guarantee. Many people who are innocent of crimes end up in prison because the system is not perfect.
It is important not to take a flippant approach to charges. If it is minor, people might believe it is not a big deal. They can do some community work and then return to their everyday lives. However, life changes drastically after someone’s record is no longer perfectly clean.
Oregon State University reminds its students, for instance, that most employers conduct background checks when they apply for a job. It adds that when employers get access to this information, there is often no context provided, so the employer might deny the candidate on the spot.
Note that there are also some fields where background checks might become mandatory. Here are some types of work that tend to fall under this:
- Providing services to children or the elderly
- Handling financial and other confidential information
- Providing legal services
- Providing pet-sitting services via some platforms
- Providing rideshare services via some platforms
The good news is that there are legal solutions people might become eligible for. Some of these include deferred prosecution agreements, sealing records, expungement and executive clemency. When it comes to expungements, NPR reports that it often gives people the second chance they need to reclaim and rebuild their lives.
It is certainly possible for people with records to build careers and succeed. Even so, criminal records can make this process more difficult than it otherwise would be.