When a California judge or jury convicts you of a crime, you may wind up facing repercussions that come from outside the criminal justice system, in addition to fines, jail time and other potential penalties. These repercussions are commonly known as "collateral consequences," and they have the potential to make many areas of your life monumentally more difficult. At the law offices of John M. Kucera, we recognize that collateral consequences can make it hard to hold down a job or pay fines, and we have helped many offenders seek to reduce the damage caused by their criminal records.
According to the OC Register, one out of every five California residents has a criminal record, which accounts to more than 800 million state residents. Additionally, more than 4,800 laws are currently on the books that set barriers for those with criminal records, and nearly 60 percent of them relate to employment.
For example, certain collateral consequences and laws prevent some criminal offenders from applying for or accepting certain positions, and they can make it even harder for those with criminal records to obtain gainful employment and move forward with their lives. Current estimates state that more than a quarter of all formerly incarcerated people do not have jobs, and many California criminal offenders believe collateral consequences are to blame, at least in part, for this figure.
In one survey involving more than 2,000 California residents with criminal records, more than three-quarters of them said they struggled to move forward with their lives following their convictions. Meanwhile, about 50 percent of those surveyed said they were struggling to find employment and pay fines, while another 35 percent said they struggled to obtain an occupational license with a criminal record. You can find more about criminal law on our webpage.