Life can get quite complicated once you have been convicted of a drug crime. The criminal justice system does not treat those who are accused of a drug offense lightly, and society often takes a negative approach to those with a criminal record, particularly with a felony conviction.
If you have a criminal history, you may face difficulties getting employed, applying for a student loan, getting public housing, and much more. This in turn can cause serious mental health issues and lead to further drug addiction.
At Hirsch Law Group, we know how unfair the system is towards people who have been convicted of a drug crime, and we want to do everything in our power to help you and ensure that your life is not permanently impacted by a criminal conviction. The criminal defense lawyers at our law firm can do everything in their power to fight for the best outcome for your case and protect your rights at all costs because we care about your future.
In our law firm, we have a team of former prosecutors, which means we have unique experience dealing with both sides of the criminal justice system, and we know the tricks that they will use against you. We want to do everything in our power to help prevent you from being convicted of drug charges and if you already have a conviction on your record, help you move on to a new stage of your life.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with a DeKalb County criminal lawyer at 815-880-1134.
How Will My Life Be Affected By a Drug Conviction?
Drug abuse is a huge problem in Illinois and the state takes a tough approach to individuals that suffer from addiction to illegal drugs. Instead of trying to help those who are addicted, the criminal justice system takes the harsh approach of punishment, which in turn has a huge effect on people’s lives. Even for simple drug possession in Illinois, the penalties can be severe and result in a permanent criminal record. Some negative consequences of a criminal record can include the following:
Education and Employment Opportunities
Many employers perform background checks on potential employees. If you apply for a job in healthcare, childcare, education, with the government, or within other certain industries, a potential employer is likely to perform a background check to see if you have a criminal conviction on your record. With a criminal record, you will find it much more difficult to get employed and will be limited in your employment opportunities.
Similarly, educational institutes, including third-level education institutes typically perform background checks on potential students. Many schools in the US are less likely to accept students that have criminal records, particularly if they have a felony. Additionally, those with a drug conviction will be unable to receive financial aid for their studies and will struggle to get a student loan from financial institutions.
Most banks and other financial institutions are reluctant to give out loans to individuals with a criminal record, regardless of whether it is a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Many banks and loan companies believe that those with a drug conviction are less likely to pay back a loan, which is why they are less likely to accept a loan application. As such, you may find it difficult to get a housing loan, car loan, or any type of bank loan, as they consider you a high-risk client.
In addition, landlords in Illinois often refuse to rent apartments or houses to individuals that have been convicted of a criminal offense. Most landlords will check a potential tenant’s background and determine whether they are reliable and trustworthy based on this. If you have a drug conviction, a landlord is much less likely to accept you as a tenant, even with a misdemeanor.
The courts take a strict approach towards parents that have been convicted of a drug charge. In many cases, if you have children that you do not have sole custody of, or with another person that you are no longer living with, your child custody rights may be impacted by a drug conviction. The court may determine that you put your child in danger and remove your custody rights or they may even place your child into child protective services in extreme cases.
If you are a parent with a drug conviction, a Judge may impose a strict addiction treatment program requiring you to get sober before allowing visitation rights with your child. It is important that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer to prevent your child custody arrangement from being affected.
How Can a DeKalb County Criminal Lawyer Help Me?
Life with a drug conviction can be extremely tough for many people. Often, it feels like the system is fighting against you and there is no hope for your future. However, our law firm wants to reassure you that although the odds are not stacked in your favor, one of our lawyers can help you try and turn your life around.
There are many ways a criminal lawyer from our firm can help you, whether it is trying to get your criminal record expunged, guiding you toward rehabilitation programs in your area, helping you avoid jail time, or protecting your rights in your criminal case. If you are facing a drug conviction in Illinois, it is likely because you suffer from addiction. There are many different rehab programs and addiction treatment organizations in your local area that can help you get on the right track and begin the healing process.
Expunging a Criminal Record
The best way to start fresh with a criminal record is to get your record expunged. Essentially, an expungement removes any conviction from your record and it will no longer be visible in background searches or searches by police. In Illinois however, it is extremely difficult to get a record expunged, particularly if you have been convicted of a felony or spent time in jail.
The alternative to expungement in the state is getting your record sealed. Although your record will still be visible to those who can get a court order, it will not be visible to potential employers, banks, or any other bodies that perform a background check on you. Most misdemeanor drug convictions on your record can be sealed, which will allow you to move on to another stage of your life. Employers are not legally permitted to ask about sealed or expunged records.
Getting a record expunged however can be quite complicated, and it is important that you get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys from our firm can help you get your record sealed or expunged in certain cases.
Life After a Drug Conviction
At Hirsch Law Group, we understand how difficult life can be with a drug conviction and the unique challenges that individuals face. What may have been a one-time mistake that you regret can now have a serious impact on your life. You may be facing difficulties getting work, attending school, getting a loan from a bank, seeing your children, and much more.
The criminal justice system has a unique way of punishing individuals for drug crimes and not providing remedies to allow them to change their lives. Trying to move on and create a new life for yourself can be extremely difficult, particularly when you are battling the system alone. By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you have a better chance to move on with your life.
At our law firm, we prioritize the strong attorney-client relationship that we have built up and we always put our client’s best interests at the forefront. We want to help you move on with your life and put the drug conviction behind you. Our lawyers have significant experience battling drug charges and we have unique experience having worked as former prosecutors. We have seen how the system works against those accused of drug crimes, which is why we changed to the other side to help defendants get justice.
If you need help defending a drug charge or want to preserve your future and move on with your life after a drug conviction, you should contact our law firm today.
Call us to schedule a free consultation with a DeKalb County criminal lawyer at 815-880-1134.