Being charged with a crime is only the first step of a lengthy, emotionally painful process. In addition to its obvious ramifications for your personal freedom, your criminal charge could end up creating a litany of unanticipated financial headaches. If you’re not prepared to deal with these matters, the blemish on your legal record could prove to be the least of your concerns. Learn more about the financial ramifications of a criminal charge.
Direct Financial Penalties
If you’re eventually convicted of your crime, you’ll probably be forced to pay restitution or criminal fines as part of your sentence. Even if you aren’t convicted, you may be ordered to cover court costs and other expenses that can be attached to your case. This is especially likely in cases that involve traffic violations or property damage.
Job Loss and Professional Implications
The monetary costs associated with your court appearances and fines represent just part of the equation. Unfortunately, being charged with a crime—even if you’re eventually cleared—could result in the suspension or termination of your employment. If you’re a high-earning professional, the consequences could be even more severe. Many professional organizations revoke defendants’ licenses for years after a criminal charge or conviction.
Unless you begin the lengthy, confusing process of expunging your record, even a dropped criminal charge can result in a black mark on your legal record. A record of your charge may appear in the credit checks that banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and car dealerships run before approving new loans or lines of credit. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult or impossible for you to receive prime-rate loans for years after your charge is filed.
Housing, Spousal Support and Other Considerations
Your criminal charge won’t merely affect your credit score. Since it may also appear on the criminal background checks that landlords, housing agencies, family courts and future employers run, your brush with the law could disqualify you from suitable rental housing, spousal support benefits and security clearances. The financial consequences of such limitations are impossible to quantify.
Turn to an Indianapolis, IN Attorney with a Proven Record
If it’s overwhelming to think about the financial implications of your criminal charge, you can take solace in the fact that you don’t have to go it alone. A trained Indianapolis, IN attorney can talk you through these considerations and provide much-needed support throughout the life cycle of your case. To learn more, contact one of our criminal defense experts at (317) 842-8283 or navigate to our criminal defense practice page.