If jail time is served following a conviction on criminal charges there are a number of losses you may experience – the most obvious one being a loss of personal freedom. Jail time can also mean a loss of income during that period, as well as the lost opportunity to develop in your personal and professional life. Although a criminal conviction does not necessarily lead to time in jail, there are many other consequences to consider. In this post, we answer the question: What are the consequences of a criminal conviction in BC?
There is often a stigma that comes with a conviction. Even if you do not spend time in jail, your social circles and opportunities may shrink. Networks and support that were there for you before, may no longer be available.
Finding work could also prove more difficult. While B.C.’s human rights legislation may prevent you from losing your job, if you have been convicted of an offence unrelated to your work, discrimination in the hiring process can be difficult to prove, and it is legal for an employer to ask for a criminal background check before they decide between candidates.
A conviction for certain offences may also close the door to some career paths. Depending on the offence, you may not be able to get the licensing or membership to professional associations. Criminal records checks are legally required for anyone who wishes to work with children or vulnerable adults. People convicted of specific drug charges, sexual assault charges, internet crimes, or charges involving violence cannot be hired if the work requires working with certain vulnerable groups.
A conviction on drunk driving charges can result in a suspended driver’s license. This could make it difficult for you to get to work, forcing you to rely on public transport, cabs, or other alternatives. If your job requires you to drive, you may need to find new employment. When you are permitted to drive again, you may be required to enroll in a driving program and might also need to install a breathalyzer in your car. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars. Your insurance premiums will likely also increase substantially.
Foreign travel may also be restricted with a conviction. The various restrictions depend on the country you wish to travel to and the nature of the conviction. Not all criminal convictions will prevent you from entering the USA, but even a minor offence can affect your ability to cross the border. The U.S. Embassy has stated “no matter how minor or how long ago the offense, you may be refused a visa or entry to the United States. There may also be problems in traveling through U.S. airports.”
If you are not a Canadian citizen, and convicted of an indictable offence, you could be required to leave Canada after your sentence is served. If you are a Canadian citizen convicted of a crime related to terrorism, you may also be required to leave Canada as a result of a new law enacted last summer. This new law allows Canadian citizenship to be revoked for specific convictions if the convicted person has dual citizenship.
It is clear that criminal convictions carry many serious consequences. This makes it all the more important to hire the Vancouver and Surrey Criminal Lawyers that you can trust. Here is an important video for you to watch on what you should look for when choosing a Vancouver and Surrey Criminal lawyer: