One of the most concerning things about being convicted of a crime is the permanent record you will have. Even for minor crimes, though the fines or jail time may be relatively short and simple, you will always have a criminal record to deal with for the rest of your life. This can make it harder for you to find gainful employment, affect your standing in a community and even play against you in a court of law.
Technically speaking, your prior convictions should not have any bearing on a court case, but it is impossible to know for sure that a jury will treat you fairly based on the evidence and cases presented and not on their opinions of you based on a prior conviction. It is no accident that news reports and prosecution attorneys often mention when suspects have prior criminal convictions because they know that it can further incriminate the suspect in the eyes of the jury.
Such is the case with a recent incident in Florida, wherein three individuals were arrested for suspected involvement in a fatal shooting. The investigation is still underway, but reports wasted no effort in mentioning that the suspects have prior convictions, including cocaine charges, resisting arrest, aggravated battery and more.
If you have prior convictions on your criminal record, it is even more important for you to seek legal assistance when mounting a criminal defense. You will be fighting an uphill battle from the start, and an attorney can help you build a solid defense that takes the focus away from your past and allows the jury to focus on the present. This can help you prove your innocence if you are facing criminal charges.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Three arrested after fatal shooting outside nightclub," Rebeca Piccardo, Nov. 30, 2015