When you find yourself facing criminal charges, you’re probably going to start thinking about your future. You’re likely worried about more than just spending time behind bars or paying fines. You’re also worried about things like your career and whether or not you can get a job with something that stays on your record for life. 

We do know from studying the statistics that it’s harder to land a job with a record. Some jobs are out of reach. For instance, a felony conviction means you cannot own a gun, so any job that requires carrying a gun becomes impossible. But even for jobs that you still qualify for, getting a second interview is harder. For white applications, a record means about 50% as many callbacks for interviews. For black applicants, that drops to just a third. Plus, a callback means you got an initial interview, and some cannot even do that because of their record. 

Why is it harder? The job market can be competitive and any negative mark on your resume makes you appear to be a greater risk to the employer. You may know that all you need is a second chance, but they’re not just looking at you. If they’re considering another employee with similar qualifications and no record, they’re more likely to call that employee because it seems, from their perspective, to come with less risk. 

You do want to keep this in mind when facing any kind of criminal charges, as it is important to explore all of your legal options and consider carefully how they are going to impact the rest of your life.