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do criminal records ruin your life?

Do Criminal Records Ruin Your Life?

If you’re interested in finding out more about how criminal records impact your life, you’ve come to the right place. First let’s clarify what a criminal record is. Criminal records are a document of all a person’s past legal offenses. This can include traffic violations, as well as any criminal convictions. However, how exactly does a criminal record impact your life?

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Who Looks at Criminal Records?

Criminal records are available to the public, but there are various scenarios where someone will ask or check for your criminal records. A background check is normally used when a person wants to verify the character of someone 

Potential employers usually will conduct a criminal background check on any job applicants, and will look at a person’s criminal record before hiring them. Depending on the severity, an employer may choose not to hire someone because of their criminal record.

In a similar light, landlords will usually request a criminal background check during the application process. Like with employers, landlords have the right to refuse to rent to somebody given their criminal record. 

Another instance where your criminal record will be seen is during a child custody case. Judges use this information to help them make a ruling that is in the child’s best interest. If the crime committed involved domestic violence or one that negatively impacted the family, your ability to have custody will be impacted. In this way, your criminal record might in fact have a huge negative affect on your life.

What Does Having a Criminal Record Effect?

First, any subsequent crimes committed will have more serious penalties. Some of these penalties can be an increased sentence, fines, or ineligibility for parole.

Depending on the type of crime committed, the country may not allow you to get a passport. This would make it nearly impossible to travel outside of the country. Most often, the government will refuse to give a passport to someone with a history of violent or sexual crimes. Even with a passport, countries reserve the right to refuse entry to someone with a criminal record.

Having a criminal record can also hinder a person’s ability to go back to school. When applying to colleges, applications will ask if you have a criminal record. Even if you’ve been accepted to a school, you may have problems getting financial aid. Being convicted of a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense will render you ineligible to receive a federal pell grant.

For immigrants, being convicted of a crime can have drastic repercussions. Being convicted of a crime can affect green card eligibility, citizenship eligibility, and can lead to deportation. In some cases, even misdemeanors can lead to deportation.


Certain offenses can be expunged in state court and by finding a local defense attorney to answer questions about your crime.. Expungement is the act of completely removing or sealing a criminal conviction from state and federal records. Arrests and misdemeanor convictions are more commonly expunged, whereas felony convictions are usually not. Expungements normally are done after the full sentence has been served or all fines paid. 

Juvenile offences are a bit easier to get expunged. As long as the minor stays out of trouble with the law, at the age of 18 they can get their record expunged. If the minor has more than one offense, they are less likely to get their record expunged.

It should be noted that while an expungement will clear your criminal record, it does not erase public records. What this means is any documentation of the case outside of courts will still exist and will not remove records of the case from the press or the internet. Consult with a criminal defense attorney in your state for more information on expungements.


A criminal record may not completely ruin your life. However, depending on the severity of the crime, it can make certain aspects of life more difficult. Hiring an excellent criminal defense law firm is  a great choice. Barkemeyer Law Firm in Louisiana can help you with your crime so that your future is in good hands and your criminal record does not ruin your life.

Some aspects of life that your criminal records can impact include your ability to rent an apartment, get a job, and travel globally. On top of that, if you have a criminal record you will be subject to harsher penalties for future offenses, are ineligible for federal pell grants, and may impact any college applications. Depending on the severity of the crime, a person may be able to have their record expunged, which would get rid of many of these obstacles. In general, your life will not be ruined because of a criminal record, but it’s best to stay out of trouble.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, Monroe, Lake Charles and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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