Many teenagers may not realize that a brush with the law can have long-lasting consequences for their lives. Teenagers need to know what kind of collateral consequences they might experience if they receive a conviction.
According to the American Bar Association, collateral consequences are the side effects of a criminal conviction. After a conviction, people may have more limited access to employment and financial assistance. These consequences may last for months or years. Even a teenage criminal conviction can result in collateral consequences that affect a teen’s future.
Access to education
One of the most immediate consequences for young people is their education. According to the National Juvenile Defender Center, a criminal conviction might result in a student’s suspension or expulsion from school. Students may have difficulty transferring their credits to a new school or re-enrolling in their classes. This can delay a teenager’s graduation. Additionally, students may need to report information about juvenile convictions when they fill out college applications. It may also be more difficult for teenagers to access college funding.
Access to employment
A criminal conviction can be an obstacle when teenagers want to get a part-time job. Many employers ask applicants to get a background check, and a conviction will appear in this search. Juvenile convictions may also keep young people from finding jobs even after they graduate, as a conviction can stay on someone’s record for years.
Access to driving privileges
Some convictions may cause teenagers to temporarily lose their driver’s license. This step can greatly limit a teen’s mobility. If teenagers can find employment, it may be difficult for them to work if they cannot drive themselves.
It may be possible for teenagers to have their records expunged so a criminal conviction does not affect their future.