Five Surprising Costs of A Criminal Record [infographic]

There are many costs that people facing criminal charges expect to pay. These include court costs and fees, bail, and lost wages. There is also the investment in a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, which could be the most important investment of a defendant’s life. That is because of the hidden costs of a criminal record. Here are five of those uninvited surprises

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  1. Lifetime earnings drop. A 2003 University of Georgia study found that people convicted of crimes in their youth earn 12-14% or less than average. Given that someone with a high school diploma can expect to earn nearly $1 million by retirement, this converts to more than $100,000 in lower earnings.
  2. The phone won’t ring. Only 5% of African-Americans with a criminal record receive a callback after a job interview. That is three times worse than the percentage of African-Americans without a criminal record that can expect a callback after going for an interview.
  3. Convicts face many health risks. While prison is meant to rehabilitate criminals, many prisoners get released with a number of health problems. For healthy people sent to prison, they are exposed to a population with an HIV rate five times the national average. Throw in mental health risks along with the risk of violence in prison, and a conviction can lead to a life of health problems and their related costs.
  4. Released prisoners go homeless. Up to half of all prisoners are homeless within a year of their parole, depending upon location. This starts a revolving door process that many people with a criminal record can never escape. Homeless people are much more likely to be incarcerated again, and even more likely to stay homeless if released again.
  5. The wrong kind of legacy is passed to the next generation. Children of prisoners are five times more likely to go to prison as adults. A criminal record causes a lifetime of hidden costs to not only the convicted person but also to their family.

These are only a few of the hidden costs to having a criminal record. Even as some reforms begin to reduce barriers to re-integration into society for paroled prisoners, there will always be extra challenges associated with having a criminal record. Having a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer fight that conviction from the start may protect against a lifetime of lost wages and opportunities.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.