How Your Record Follows You After You Are Free
According to a report released in 2021, 72% of restrictions placed on individuals after their release from jail or prison hindered their ability to find a job. An inability to find work may exacerbate issues in finding a decent place to live or getting the education needed to qualify for available positions in their chosen fields.
There are a number of reasons why it may be harder for New Jersey residents to find work after being released from jail. In some cases, they aren’t able to obtain gainful employment because they aren’t allowed to be within 1,000 feet of a school or other public places. It’s also possible for those who are convicted of crimes to lose their professional licenses as a condition of their sentences.
In addition, employers may decide that it’s too risky to hire someone who has a criminal record as it may pose a liability hazard. Let’s assume that a company hired a worker who has previously been convicted of DUI as a truck driver. If that driver were to drive a company vehicle while impaired, the employer could be liable for any damages caused by that employee. Similarly, companies in industries that require workers to enter customer homes, such as HVAC technicians or plumbers, may not be able to hire someone with theft or burglary convictions.
Housing may be difficult to find for those who are barred from living near schools, churches or other buildings. In some cases, it may not be possible to find a suitable home or apartment in an area that is safe, affordable and relatively close to work. In addition, if you are prohibited from living in proximity to certain spaces, you may have to live elsewhere even if you have friends or family members willing to open their homes.
This might mean that you are forced to live in a dangerous part of town or overpay for poor accommodations. If you have kids, this may make it harder to see them on a regular basis or to retain your parental rights.
If location is not an issue, finding a landlord willing to rent to someone who has a criminal record might be difficult. As with employers, landlords typically run background checks on anyone who submits an application to live in their properties. In some cases, prospective tenants have been barred from obtaining homes or apartments because of infractions that occurred years or decades ago.
Landlords may also be reluctant to rent to tenants who have a criminal record even if they are convicted of minor offenses such as drug possession or petty larceny. A Morristown criminal defense lawyer may be able to explain the impact of a conviction for any type of crime. An attorney may also explain that a plea deal is the same as a conviction and that accepting a deal may come with the same consequences.
Going to School
Going to school may be difficult after being released from jail or prison because those with criminal records may be ineligible for federal financial aid. If you are ineligible for federal aid, it may take years to pay for college out of your own pocket. In addition to tuition, it’s also possible that you’ll need to pay fees related to obtaining or retaining a professional license. At the same time, you may also be paying fines, legal fees and other costs related to your case.
If you are unable to drive after being released from jail or prison, it may be difficult to get to class on time if you are able to enroll in school. You may also struggle to get to field trips or other required activities in a timely manner, which may further inhibit your ability to get a degree.
If you are in need of a Morristown criminal defense lawyer, contact Gregg Wisotsky today. You can do so by calling the Morris County office at 973-898-0161 or by submitting the contact form that can be found on our website.