Life After an Arrest: How to Minimize the Impact on Your Future

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Apr 17

Lewis & Laws

Life After an Arrest: How to Minimize the Impact on Your Future

by Lewis & Laws

Understand the Long-Term Consequences

First and foremost, it's essential to understand the potential long-term consequences of an arrest. Even if you're not ultimately convicted, an arrest can still appear on background checks conducted by potential employers, landlords, or educational institutions. This can make it more challenging to secure employment, housing, or educational opportunities, as some may view an arrest as a red flag, regardless of the outcome of your case.

Consider Sealing or Vacating Your Arrest Record

One of the most important steps you can take to mitigate these potential consequences is to explore the possibility of sealing or vacating your arrest record under Washington state law. In Washington, sealing a record is known as "vacating" a conviction. If you were arrested but not convicted, you might be eligible to have your arrest record expunged.

Under Washington state law, you can vacate certain misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions if you meet specific criteria. If your conviction is vacated, the court will effectively withdraw the conviction and dismiss the case. The record of the arrest and conviction will then be sealed, meaning it will no longer be accessible to the general public. However, the record will still exist and can be accessed by certain government agencies, such as law enforcement and courts.

If you're eligible for record sealing or expungement, pursuing this option is often worthwhile. Having a clear record can make a significant difference in your ability to secure employment, housing, and other opportunities in the future. However, sealing or expunging a record can be complex and time-consuming, so it's often helpful to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken.

Address Underlying Issues

In addition to exploring record sealing or expungement, it's also essential to be proactive in addressing any underlying issues that may have contributed to your arrest in the first place. For example, if substance abuse or mental health issues played a role in your arrest, seeking treatment and support can demonstrate your commitment to making positive changes in your life. This can be particularly important if you're facing criminal charges, as showing that you're taking steps to address these issues can sometimes lead to more favorable outcomes in your case.

Be Honest With Employers

It's crucial to be honest with potential employers about your arrest history. While trying to hide or downplay an arrest may be tempting, being upfront and transparent can often work in your favor. Many employers are willing to give individuals a second chance, particularly if they can demonstrate that they've taken responsibility for their actions and have made efforts to turn their lives around.

When discussing your arrest with a potential employer, focus on what you've learned from the experience and how you've grown. Emphasize any positive steps you've taken since the arrest, such as completing treatment programs, volunteering in your community, or pursuing education or training opportunities. By presenting yourself positively and showing that you're committed to moving forward, you can often overcome the stigma associated with an arrest and demonstrate your value as an employee.

Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you're facing the challenges of life after an arrest in Seattle, Washington, don't navigate this difficult time alone. Take action today to protect your future and minimize the impact of an arrest on your life. Contact an experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer at Lewis & Laws who can help you build a strong foundation for a brighter future.

Remember, an arrest doesn't have to define your life – take the first step towards a fresh start by seeking the legal guidance you need. Call a trusted Seattle criminal defense attorney now to discuss your case and confidently explore your options for moving forward. 

At Lewis & Laws, we offer aggressive legal assistance to individuals from Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and Washington State. Contact us today to explore your legal options. Protect your future and call us today!

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