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Why you should reconsider pleading guilty to theft charges

Theft charges can cover a multitude of crimes, from shoplifting to embezzlement. It is obvious why you should fight serious charges, such as for white-collar crimes, but do not underestimate the importance of fighting something seemingly minor, such as petty theft.

You may be considering pleading guilty in order to end the matter quickly, but see if you have other options first to avoid the consequences of a theft conviction.

You will have a criminal record

A criminal history can be an impediment in various areas of life. You may have a harder time finding employment, though discrimination laws do exist to stop you from experiencing unfair hiring practices. A record can also make it difficult to find a place to live, though again you have some legal protection.

You may also be able to get an expungement later on for the incident. However, it is easier not to have to worry about these challenges by doing whatever you can to avoid a conviction in the first place.

You will have fewer employment opportunities

While having a criminal record is not enough to prevent you from getting a job, the specific convictions you received can be major obstacles. Crimes involving any type of theft will be a red flag to employers. They want the assurance that their employees are trustworthy and will not steal from the business, co-workers or customers. You will have a hard time securing positions that deal with finances or security. Employers have the right to ensure they hire safe, responsible people.

You will hurt your finances

Not only does a conviction come with fines you have to pay, but it also affects your finances outside the courtroom. Your insurance rates may increase because a criminal background makes you look like more of a risk, and insurers are all about mitigating risk. You may appear riskier to lenders, as well, making it harder to secure a loan.

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