The Unintended Consequences of Pleading Guilty
If you are facing a misdemeanor criminal charge, such as possession of marijuana, you may think it is a good idea to simply pay your fines and plead guilty. However, while this may seem like a good idea right now, you will discover as time passes that there are several unintended consequences for pleading guilty to any crime, even if it is only a misdemeanor.
Beware the Dangers of Accepting a Guilty Plea
Known as “the secret sentence,” the consequences of having a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record can significantly limit your opportunities when it comes to:
- Education — Students who receive federal financial aid through loans, grants or work-study programs risk having their loans suspended if they are convicted with a drug offense, regardless of its classification. If you attend community college or a four-year institution, whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, you may lose access to federal aid. Research has shown that it is difficult for students to resume their studies and graduate in a timely fashion after taking an extended absence from the classroom.
- Employment — Many jobs require background screenings as a condition of employment. In certain fields, like law enforcement, finance or education, having a criminal record will disqualify applicants from a position. If you are trying to get hired in a competitive field, having a drug charge will set you at a disadvantage.
- Housing — Prospective employers aren’t the only people who search applicants’ backgrounds, so do landlords. If you are looking for living space in a town with high demand and low supply, your criminal history may determine where you can stay. In a competition for the most economical apartments in the best locations, renters with clean criminal records are the prime candidates for a lease.
Consider the Long-Term Repercussions of a Criminal Charge. Contact Our Firm Today.
While pleading guilty to a seemingly “minor” offense may be the quickest way to deal with certain criminal charges, it often isn’t the best option, especially when your future is concerned. So before you appear in court, contact The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, to arrange a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You need an experienced lawyer on your side.
For more than 18 years, attorney Marion M. Moses, has been trying cases in courthouses throughout South Carolina. As a former prosecutor, he is familiar with the strategies used when trying to obtain a conviction, and he will use this knowledge to protect your rights.
From our office in Columbia, we serve clients throughout Richland County, Lexington County and other counties in South Carolina. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 803-770-4483, or reach out to us online.
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