White-collar crime is taken extremely seriously in the United States. By the time you find out you are under investigation or facing charges, it’s likely that the prosecution has already been tracking you and building their case for months or years. Knowing that it’s no surprise that the Department of Justice reports a conviction rate of 85% for white-collar crimes, as opposed to a 78% conviction rate for other federal crimes.
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, it’s time to take action and start protecting your future. Find out how a convict could affect your career, and to get started on your defense, call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-803-3500.
Are Your Charges Related to Your Job?
The type of crime you’re being charged with is an important factor. For example, if you work in banking and you are charged with embezzling funds or fraud, you will almost certainly be terminated when your charges become public. However, if you are charged with immigration fraud or another crime that is not related to your field, you may be able to convince your employer to keep you.
Note that the difference between charges and a conviction is extremely important here. If you have just been charged, you may have time to figure out your next career move or minimize the damage. If you are convicted, the consequences will likely be swift.
Government employees are held to rigorous standards in the United States. If you work for the government, know that a white-collar conviction will likely cost you your job and keep you from ever working in another government agency again. This is due to the fact that government employees often have access to sensitive information and must be able to acquire security clearance.
Even if a felony conviction does not immediately disqualify you from your current job, you could be let go simply because your employer no longer trusts you. Note that this could affect your pension or other government benefits.
Licensed Career Paths and Careers Requiring Security Clearance
A growing number of career paths require licensure or certification. These career paths often have strict requirements for applicants, including background check requirements. Depending on which field you work in, a felony conviction could completely bar you from your field of employment or keep you from working in a licensed position. This could severely limit your income and your career advancement opportunities.
Verify the requirements for a license with your local board. Careers that do require licensure or certification include nurses and other medical jobs, teachers, social workers, accountants, pilots, cosmetologists, and commercial drivers. This is one reason it is crucial to talk to an attorney with experience in white-collar criminal defense. Being forced out of your licensed career path could suddenly leave you without a way to take care of your family, and for many people, this is a setback they cannot overcome. A strong criminal defense is key for your future, your career, and your financial stability.
Damage to Your Reputation
Perhaps the greatest change to your career will be your reputation. Even if you try to keep your conviction or charges secret, the rumor mill is always churning. White-collar crimes often take advantage of employers, government agencies, and clients. Knowing this, many people report a severe decrease in their reputation after a conviction.
You may find that your coworkers and superiors no longer trust you, whether or not your charges are related to your area of work. This keeps you from networking and building strong connections in your field, which in turn limits your options for career growth and advancement. You may find that your career is stagnant after a white-collar charge or conviction.
If you work in a public-facing role, your reputation could also decline among clients. Clients may choose to work with others when they have the chance or specifically ask to work with someone else. This decreases the value you bring to your company and can even lead to termination.
Explore Your Defense Options with Kirk Drennan Law
It’s clear that a white-collar conviction leaves no part of your life unchanged. That’s why you need to talk to the team at Kirk Drennan Law as soon as possible after an arrest. To set up a consultation now, call us at 205-803-3500 or reach out via our .