Many people who commit white collar crimes believe they will never be caught. It often comes as a surprise when law enforcement does catch them — and it is even more surprising to face the potential consequences that will follow. If you are facing charges such as these, it is important to consider your next step and weigh the long-term costs that could result from a conviction.

Many people avoid hiring a lawyer because of the perceived expense, but in reality, this amount is far less than what it could cost if you are convicted. Consider the following consequences and the financial — as well as social — impact that they might have on your life.

Fines and court fees

Identity theft is one of the most common white collar crimes. In Ohio, according to the Office for Victims of Crime, a conviction potentially incurs both imprisonment and “substantial fines.” If you want to do the math, investing in the defense offered by legal representation is likely the better move. Court fees and the fines that result from a conviction will add up quickly.

Potential jail time

When you are in jail, you cannot make money. A prison sentence lasting decades is a possibility you must face if you have a white collar crime charge. Considering the fact that many white collar crimes are financially motivated, this is an inconvenience at best. During such incarceration, your finances will likely suffer due to your inability to earn income.

Impact on life

Financial repercussions are not the only or the worst consequences you may suffer. The impact a conviction will have on your family would be devastating. Finding employment in the future would be an insurmountable challenge, and a criminal record could ever affect your ability to get housing in the future. It simply is not worth it to risk a conviction when so much is on the line.