You have been charged with a crime. However, it is your first run-in with the law. What happens next? What are your options? If you do not understand the criminal justice process, it may help to read on. It all begins with the first appearance.
Having a criminal record can put you at a decided disadvantage in many ways. Disclosing an arrest or conviction is often required, but it can make you lose out on career, housing and educational opportunities. A criminal record can also cost you big in the workplace: research indicates that those with a criminal history have a more difficult time finding jobs, and may be paid between 10 and 40 percent less for the same work than otherwise similarly situated co-workers.