How a Drug Conviction Can Affect Your Future

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Even the smallest criminal conviction has the potential to turn your life completely upside down. It brings with itself several negative consequences which can affect your life for years to come.

Being caught for drug possession and drug distribution can lead you to face criminal charges, which can have life-altering ramifications.

In most cases, the police arrest a person when they find illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia possessed firsthand by him. In other cases, drugs may be found at the person’s house or in his vehicle. These drugs can include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other illegally obtained prescription drugs.


In both the scenarios, a person can face serious drug charges. If convicted of these charges, the penalties can include revocation of driver’s license, probation, fines, and even jail time.

But, the worst thing about a criminal conviction is that it can leave its imprints with you in the form of a criminal record, which will likely stay with you for the rest of your life.

Being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor will depend on the quantity as well as the type of the illegal substance found on you.

A misdemeanor conviction will remain on your record and be available to the public for three years before it can be expunged. A felony conviction will remain on your record and be available to the public for five years before it can be expunged. Both scenarios may have an impact on your current employment and other opportunities in the future.

If you’re found with drugs other than marijuana, you may end up facing automatic felony.

In Chicago, the use of marijuana or “medical cannabis” is permitted only if used under “tightly controlled circumstances” for medical treatment(s). However, a person found with significant amounts of marijuana could also face a felony.

A drug crime lawyer in Chicago could prove to be your best bet in defending yourself.

Mentioned ahead are the various ways in which a drug conviction can affect your life.

Effect on Employment Opportunities

All employers want to hire individuals they can trust. An increasing number of employers are beginning to run a background check on the candidates they are considering hiring.

When you apply for a job, your prospective employer may ask you if you have a criminal record. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t lie about such matters and speak the truth.

A criminal conviction for a drug offense may mar your chances of landing a job in certain industries including law enforcement, legal practice, nursing, commercial driving or in positions that require you to deal with children.

A potential employer may review your criminal record in a bid to decipher if the type of crime you were convicted for will have any bearing on the position you are being considered for.

Effect on Eligibility for Loans

Having a criminal record may result in an immediate denial when you apply for loans with banks or other financial institutions. Because financing and loan companies want to ascertain that the loan will be repaid on time, you will be considered a high risk client by them. This will affect your ability to get a house loan, a car loan, a student loan, and several other kinds of loans.

Effect on Your Ability to Rent a Home

No landlord wants to be stuck with a tenant with a criminal record. If you mean to rent a home, it may become extremely difficult for you to do so as most landlords will investigate a potential tenant’s background to determine whether or not he is honest and stable.

A criminal record containing a drug conviction will not only make the landlord apprehensive about you and your activities, but he may also doubt your ability to pay rent on time.

Effect on Child Custody

If you happen to be embroiled in a child custody battle, a criminal conviction on your record could just prove to be your undoing. It is highly plausible that you will have your character questioned because of a past conviction.

It is obvious that none of the parent would voluntarily want to lose custody of the kids. To ensure that, they will use any ammunition they can find to cast aspersions on the other parent’s ability to raise or even be around the children.

Several custody battles get murky because arrests which did not even lead to convictions are brought up.

Further, your ability to adopt children in the future may also come under jeopardy.

Asset Forfeiture

An arrest for drug possession with intent to distribute or for the manufacturing of five or more plants may result in the State forfeiting your home, car, money and other assets.

This can be done even if the charges levied against you currently are dismissed later, or you are acquitted at trial. This atrocious law is known as “Asset Forfeiture.”

Lifelong Implications

You should know that all criminal records are public, unless they’re expunged or sealed. This implies that even running a simple background check on you could lead to everyone finding out about all your past convictions.

This can make it difficult for you to move on since all prospective employers, lenders, partners, and even complete strangers can know that you have a criminal history.

Further, the Internet can divulge more information about your conviction records, which will only get easier once more legal entities start archiving their physical files online.


While possession of drugs is a serious charge in itself, possessing it with intent to distribute it can lead to graver consequences. Possession charges can turn into distribution charges based on the amount of drugs found in your possession. Defending either of the charges can be extremely difficult without the right person to represent your case. Finding a competent lawyer is crucial as the layman may get perplexed by the challenges he might encounter ahead. This post should help you understand the gravity of the situation if you or your loved one is convicted for a drug crime, and how it can tarnish opportunities in the future. A skilled lawyer will not only help you prepare for the challenges that lie ahead, he will also ensure that your rights are protected throughout the proceedings of your case.

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