A criminal record is one of the most profoundly consequential punishments that you can receive; it will impact virtually every major aspect of your life.

On top of the fact that you could very well end up incarcerated, which is a life-altering and painful outcome in and of itself, the residual and long lasting effects of a criminal record are arguably the most far-reaching and damaging. When people say: “a criminal record will follow you around for the rest of your life,” they’re not exaggerating.

A criminal record can have severe effects on your employment prospects. Many places of work (particularly those that pay higher salaries) require criminal record checks. For many workplaces, the presence of a criminal conviction on your record is a non-starter. Indeed, depending on the crime that you were convicted of, you may even be legally barred from working in certain fields like education and accounting or for organizations that work with vulnerable populations like children and seniors. Therefore, a criminal record could very well bar you from attaining a certain income level or from working in your desired field.

A criminal record can also have profound effects on your ability to find housing, as landlords are legally allowed to refuse to rent you an apartment on the grounds that you possess a criminal record. Similarly, insurance companies can refuse to provide you coverage on the grounds that you have a criminal record or if they do decide to provide coverage, they could decide to decrease the amount of coverage they would have given you or increase the price for the coverage.

A criminal record may also affect your ability to travel to other countries, as each country has a different policy when it comes to allowing those with criminal records enter their territory. This is especially true of the United States, who may deny you entry on that basis (especially if your conviction is for a drug-related offence).

Finally, in a similar vein, a criminal record could greatly affect your ability to immigrate to another country or to Canada itself. In certain cases, if you’re a refugee or permanent resident, a criminal conviction could result in your deportation.

That’s why it’s so important to have experienced and competent counsel by your side. We can work on getting you a discharge (where you plead guilty but do not receive a conviction on your record) or a peace bond, or we can fight your case and either get the prosecution to drop the charges entirely or get you formally acquitted at trial.

Call S. Zalman Haouzi today to book a consultation!