When you are facing criminal charges, you are likely to worry about the immediate consequences, such as having to pay large fines or doing prison time. If you are convicted of the charges, the specific penalties imposed depend on various factors, such as the seriousness of the charges or any prior criminal history.
One consequence you may initially overlook after being accused of a crime is the impact it can have on your career or professional reputation. You might be offered a plea deal and be tempted to take it because the terms seem favorable, but you should consider these potential repercussions before doing so.
Current and future employment
You could lose your current job by pleading guilty to criminal charges. Even if your employer does not terminate you, the likelihood of being promoted or moving up in the company after a criminal conviction becomes slim to none.
If you do lose your job, you are likely to face difficulty when seeking new employment. Your criminal conviction will show up on background checks. Employers who do not perform background checks may still inquire about your prior criminal history.
Educational opportunities and professional licenses
A criminal conviction could hinder future educational opportunities. You might have a harder time getting accepted to certain educational institutions and some criminal convictions make you temporarily ineligible for federal student aid.
Additionally, if your job or profession depends on having a state license, that license could be revoked or you may be unable to apply for one. Even if the criminal charge you were convicted of has nothing to do with the type of license you have, such as a medical license, you could still lose it due to your conviction being a blemish on your overall record.
It should be clear that you have much more to lose by pleading guilty to a criminal charge in Tennessee than you may initially believe. Putting on an aggressive defense is usually the best option when you are accused of a crime.