The collateral impact of a criminal conviction
Criminal charges mean law enforcement feels probable cause existed for an arrest, and a prosecutor believes a burden of proof may exist to find you guilty. Facing judgment from a court on a misdemeanor or felony charge without a fight may well bring conviction.
Being convicted also means you forever face judgment from society—from those who know you, and those you may never meet because of your arrest record. Make no mistake, facing criminal charges in Utah means you need immediate, effective representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Consider these consequences of being convicted of a DWI:
- A misdemeanor or a felony can mean incarceration. Conviction on driving while intoxicated (DWI) brings license suspension and loss of driving privileges along with serious fines and penalties.
- A first-time DUI offense is a Class B misdemeanor. While misdemeanors do not carry the same penalties as felonies, a misdemeanor still results in a criminal record.
- In this electronic age, records of arrest and conviction are logged and stored in networks beyond local law enforcement. Even if you get your record expunged, the information will still follow and cloud your future because of its presence in online databases.
- Any kind of criminal record can extinguish or forestall job opportunities, loan financing, rental agreements, educational admissions, and applications for student loans, housing opportunities, immigration possibilities and any situation requiring a professional license.
- A criminal background may bear negatively in a family court case concerning child custody.
- Conviction on a felony count affects your right to vote and carry a gun.
Being arrested in Salt Lake City has serious implications for your immediate and distant future. Do not consider pleading guilty without talking to a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer experienced with the charges you face. A fine and short jail term may seem a light sentence now, but the ramifications of a conviction cast a long shadow on your future.