It can be very easy to make a mistake. With all the best intention in the world, a simple slip-up can lead to disaster. This is why the full force of the law is often invoked should you be caught making that error. The repercussions can last a lifetime if you’re successfully prosecuted too. Perhaps you drove home after one too many at the bar? Or maybe you lost your temper and caused some criminal damage? Events can unfold so quickly but last forever.
Do You Need To Tell Your Employer?
It is usually best to let your employer know if you have been arrested or charged. This gives them the chance to manage gossip in the workplace. From a legal perspective, they might have a duty of care to clients that may be vulnerable. If you work with children or vulnerable adults, your employer is likely to need you to suspend your activities with these clients. At this stage, they probably won’t fire you. After all, you have been accused but not yet found guilty. But they must insure they’ve undertaken appropriate safeguarding. Your employer must ensure they are still meeting the requirements of their insurances and licenses.
There are many jobs when a record of arrest might become a problem for your career. There are many more jobs when a criminal record means that you can’t take on a particular role. Generally speaking, if you’re handing money, personal data, confidential information, or working with vulnerable clients, you stand to lose your job. It’s worth checking the terms and conditions of your employment contract. It might be very difficult to get a job in the future if you are successfully prosecuted. When you apply for a job, you will be asked if you have a criminal conviction. You must not lie. There are sometimes exceptions whereby you might not need to disclose.
Training And Education
If you have a criminal conviction, you might find it difficult to be accepted on a formal academic course. Some training courses will also be off limits to you. There are, however, several programs that offer access to training and new skills regardless of your background. You might choose to learn how to run your own business. With no employer, you are free to earn for yourself.
It might depend on the charges against you, though. Some convictions are not of concern to some training institutions or employers. It is always worth seeking career advice. And if you feel that your conviction does not affect your current employer or their clients, it’s worth seeking the advice of an employment lawyer. Your union representative might also have a few insights for you. You might be able to retrain to take on a different role within the company you currently work for.
What Should You Do?
As soon as you are arrested, it’s important you seek help from someone with legal expertise in that area of the law. A criminal defense attorney can assess the evidence gathered and determine if the case against you is strong enough. You have the right to a defense, so make sure you get all the help you can. Even if the evidence is strong, the sentence is still up for negotiation. Let your lawyer work to reduce any sentence and help you to avoid time spent behind bars.
Of course, it’s not just a custodial sentence that is concerning you. You’ve spent years in education and training. You’ve spent further years developing and nurturing your career. You don’t want to have to give any of that up. There is more riding on this than just the income you have enjoyed lately. There is the sense of self and the sense of pride that comes with a good job and prosperous career. This is why you need a defense lawyer that help you keep your job and keep out of jail too.
What Happens Next?
It’s best to start preparing for any possible outcome. As already discussed, a simple arrest on record without a conviction can cost you some jobs. It can even make traveling overseas problematic. It’s best that you consider how things might have to change for you now. Losing your job and struggling to find another one is going to cause financial difficulties. You should start taking a look at how much you have right now so you can determine how long it will last.
You might have several financial commitments that will need to be addressed. If you can’t afford the mortgage on your current home, be wary of selling it without consideration. You are unlikely to be offered a competitive interest rate with a criminal record. Many lenders will not help you at all. You might need to use the equity on your current property to buy something else outright. Alternatively, consider renting until your financial situation is more secure.
As for your other loans, you should notify the lenders immediately if you lose your job. You might have insurance that will cover the outstanding payments. However, many have terms that mean you won’t get a payout if you’re fired for having a criminal conviction. Speak to a debt advisor about your options if the lenders won’t help you.
Think about ways you can earn money. Side hustles are very popular, especially with online businesses. Writing is one way you can generate an income. You might have a blog, or you might write an eBook. Perhaps you can become a freelance copywriter or a creative? Few clients will run a background check on you. You can also sell everything you don’t need right now. This frees up space and can generate a little cash to see you through another month or two.
Hopefully, the charges against you are dropped, and no further action is taken. Be open and honest with your employer. If they’re determined to let you go, ask if there is another position in the firm that would suit you both better. Perhaps they can still offer a glowing reference and recommend you to another employer? A criminal conviction might cost you one career, but your determination can help you to forge a new one.