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The hidden cost of jail time

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Is it hard to find a job after spending time in prison? Felony convicts, in particular, often find it difficult to secure stable, career track employment with important benefits, such as health care or retirement plans. The best path is typically to take all measures possible to avoid conviction, or to preserve financial opportunities if prison is inevitable. 

For those facing serious criminal charges, the post-prison situation should be one of the major considerations when planning strategy. Added up over an entire working life, it is no understatement to say that the cost of a felony conviction could add up hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement funds alone — all for penalties that could potentially be avoided or diminished by a competent attorney. 

Opportunities after incarceration

There are programs at the state and federal level to help ex-cons find employment. However, these jobs are not exactly the same type of work that most convicted felons would have expected to get before going to prison. This discrepancy is even more apparent for those convicted of white-collar crimes, such as fraud and embezzlement. 

Many of the immediate placement programs tend to feature unskilled labor positions with relatively low pay and little opportunity for advancement or benefits. Even apart from these direct effects, there are other reasons that avoiding prison could help secure someone’s financial future. 

Challenges during incarceration

It is relatively easy to manage finances and make regular debt payments under normal circumstances. It is often not so easy when in prison. Most reporting agencies take timely payments into account when calculating credit scores, so it is important to set up a plan that would allow regular payment of debts regardless of the outcome of a criminal case.

People only think about the immediate consequences of a felony conviction, such as fines or prison sentences. However, there is more to take into account then these matters. A tough initial defense combined with long-term planning to cover every eventuality is the best way to secure a financial future, in or out of prison.


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