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Fines, Fees, and Jail Time: The Real Costs of a Criminal Conviction


criminal convictionThere are a lot of consequences to a criminal conviction – much more than jail time. In fact, most individuals arrested or accused of a crime have no idea of the long-term consequences that they are facing. Even a misdemeanor conviction could impact the rest of your life negatively. The stakes involved in a criminal case are severe, which is why it is important that you have adequate representation from the moment when you are arrested for a crime. By having an experienced attorney on your side, you could not only keep your freedom, but avoid heavy financial prices for what seems like a simple offense.

The True Hidden Costs of a Criminal Conviction

There are certain penalties and fines that are obvious when you are facing criminal charges. You know that if you are convicted, you will have fines that you must pay as part of your penalty. However, you may not consider the other costs involved as part of the sentencing or years to come.

Some costs that you may not consider include:

  • Probationary Costs – If you are put on probation, you may assume that there are no costs involved with that, but this is not the case. As part of your probation, you will be required to appear before the court with progress reports – and this will cost money. Also, you will miss work to appear in court; when you miss work, you may not get paid.
  • Damages – If you are convicted of a property crime, you could face damages, in addition to your court fines and fees. This means that you may have to pay restitution to cover those damages to the victim – and this could be thousands of dollars. If the victim had medical bills, you could also pay thousands in his or her recovery costs.
  • Classes and Rehabilitation – If you are required to attend courses or rehabilitative therapy as part of your parole or probation, you will need to pay all registration and attendance costs associated with those programs. These costs can fluctuate (but usually are several hundred dollars), depending on the type of course and how long you must attend.
  • Living Options – When you are convicted of a crime, you may not be approved by all landlords to rent their property – and some may charge additional fees to run background checks. Once it is determined that you have a criminal record, you could be denied and out the background check fee. Also, you may be required to live in more expensive areas or unsafe neighborhoods just because more affluent neighborhoods will not accept someone with a criminal record.
  • Employment Options – After a criminal conviction, you may find that seeking employment becomes a challenge. You may not qualify for better-paying positions, and that lower wage could affect your ability to support yourself, or even your loved ones.

Avoid the Long-Term Consequences – Contact a Skilled Albuquerque Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for a crime, even a minor one, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Even misdemeanor offenses carry harsh, long-term penalties and costs. The attorneys at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices want to help you avoid these long-term consequences. We understand that everyone deserves a second chance, and we will work hard to ensure that you are not paying for a mistake for the rest of your life. Call to schedule a free case evaluation at 505-375-4661 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.