Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Court Record

Local Newspaper Addresses Collateral Consequences Associated with a Criminal Court Record

The Indy Week, a local newspaper serving Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill, contains an article this week entitled “Haunted by the Past” on the collateral consequences of a criminal court record. The subtitle title of the news story is likely not newsConsequences to most that have a criminal record: “With a criminal record, it’s tough to find a job.” In the article, the author puts a face on the problem by presenting how it has impacted a few individuals that attended a clinic held at the Henderson Library in Vance County.

In addition to the personal stories, there are some interesting facts in the article, which the author credits to the N.C. Center for Justice. According to this nonprofit organization that advocates for low and middle income 1.6 million – that’s with an M – North Carolinians have a criminal record. That is 1 in 5 people who reside in the state. According to the same organization, 92% of potential employers are checking those records.

While the record of many of these citizens contains only indicates an arrest or dismissal of charges, this still can have significant consequences. According to the article, 64% of potential employers are influenced by records that reveal only an arrest.

Collateral consequences, like the difficulty of gaining employment, are those that are not directly related to the punishment for a particular crime. In addition to creating a barrier to employment, a criminal record can cause you to be denied housing, admittance to a school, loan or occupational license.

Some gains have been made recently to help alleviate these collateral consequences (see A Criminal Conviction May Qualify for Expunction and Criminal Records and Occupational Licenses).

Contact to see if you qualify for an expunction of your criminal court record.