Prosecutors routinely offer deals to low-level drug offenders in exchange for pleading guilty. The plea may include a fine and little or no jail time. But is it a good deal if you have to plead guilty?
The deal may be sound good in the short term. However, the long-term consequences of having a criminal record can far outweigh the advantages accepting the deal. Before you plead guilty to any drug charge, discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Pleading guilty to a misdemeanor or felony drug charge will result in a permanent criminal record that will be visible to anyone who conducts a background check on you. Examples of people who conduct background checks include employers, college administrators, lenders, landlords, police officers, and government agencies.
Having a criminal record can have serious, long-term consequences on your life:
- You may be passed over on a job application.
- You may be barred from certain careers.
- You may be unable to get a professional license.
- You may not be able to live in the apartment of your choice.
- You may be denied a loan or have to pay higher insurance rates.
- You may be ineligible for student loans or other government programs.
- You may be barred from possessing firearms.
- If you are pulled over by police, you may be treated differently if you have a criminal record.
The long-term consequences of a criminal record are far more serious than the short-term consequences of a fine or jail time. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to resolve a drug arrest without the stigma of a criminal conviction.