Being convicted of a crime can be an extremely stressful ordeal with both personal and professional consequences. In addition to those consequences, however, there are many costs involved in a conviction that can add up to significant amounts of money. While the old saying goes “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime” the fact is many people facing criminal charges are not fully aware of the stakes involved in their criminal case.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the criminal justice system can be extremely beneficial to your case. Not only can a criminal lawyer potentially help keep you out of trouble, they may also be able to help you avoid hefty financial penalties.
Costs of being convicted of a crime
Certain fines may be obvious when facing criminal charges. For example, if you are found guilty and at sentencing you are ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.00 that cost could be considered pretty straight forward. However, what many do not consider are the costs involved as part of their sentencing in the years to come.
As an example, let’s say that as part of your sentencing you are given four years of probation. Now, you may be thinking that there is not a cost involved with that probation, but let’s look more closely. As part of your probation you may be required to appear before the court to give progress reports on how you have kept up with the terms of your probation. But what happens when you are spending that time to appear before the court? You miss work, and when you miss work, you may not get paid for the time that you missed, or you may have to use your vacation time to adjust for the time you are missing. Those missed hours of work and the lost pay are costs to be considered.
Let’s look at another scenario. If you caused damage as part of the charges you were convicted of you may be held liable to pay restitution to cover those damages to the victim as part of the terms of your probation. If the victim had medical bills or lost wages, for example, those damages could quickly become costly, even reaching into the thousands of dollars.
Some probation conditions also require that you attend classes, such as anger management, which may also come with registration and attendance costs and those costs may fluctuate depending on the amount of time you are required to attend.
As you can see, the costs of criminal conviction can include many factors that can easily escalate into the thousands of dollars. However, in addition to the immediate financial consequences you may face as part of your criminal conviction, you should not disregard the long term financial consequences a criminal conviction can have. A criminal conviction can have a significant impact on future employment opportunities. This lack of opportunities could make it difficult for you to earn a comfortable living because employers may offer the position to someone else due to a criminal conviction being on your record.
Contacting a criminal defense attorney
If you are facing criminal charges an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help. A criminal attorney can not only help you potentially avoid jail time but may also be able to help you avoid the financial consequences that can accompany a criminal conviction. If you, or someone you know, have been charged with a criminal offense and you would like to schedule a free initial consultation to confidentially discuss the details of your case you can reach us at (559) 222-5800. In most instances appointments can be made for the same day.