If the police are investigating you for a criminal charge, it is important to hire an attorney to represent your interest as soon as possible. Don't wait for the police to file formal charges against you to bring in an attorney to represent you. Being charged with and convicted of a crime can change your life, which is why you want to bring in an attorney to fight against any investigation or charges as soon as possible. Here are five ways having a criminal record can change your life in a negative manner.

#1 Jail Sentence

One of the most immediate ways that being convicted of a criminal charge could change your life is through a jail sentence. Regardless of whether you face 30 days in jail or a couple of years in jail, your life is going to be changed. You are going to need to take time off from your job and if your sentence is long enough, there is a good chance that you will lose your job due to your jail time.

Unless you have a strong savings account built up, you could lose your home while you are in jail if you can't pay your rent or mortgage. That means when you get out of jail you'll have to find a new place to live.

#2 Rental Issues

When you try to rent a home, your landlord or rental company could run a background check on you. During this background check, they could look for any criminal charges that you have been convicted of. You may find it much harder to find a place to rent, even years after you served your conviction. Many landlords and rental companies don't want to take the risk of entrusting their property to someone with a criminal record, regardless of if they served their time or if a great deal of time has passed.

#3 Job Issues

Employers may also run a background check when you apply for a job. Many employers may deny you a job based on your criminal background. There are also specific jobs where having a criminal background could exclude you from working in that entire field, such as childcare.

You may not be able to continue in your chosen professional field, and all of your training and education may go to waste because you were convicted of a crime.

#4 Child Custody Issues

If you are not married or are divorced, your child custody rights could be in jeopardy. Your child's other parent could use your criminal conviction to change your custody arrangement or visitation rights. Either way, if you go to jail, you are going to have to provide for your children's care while you are in prison, and it could affect your long-term child care rights and visitation as well.

#5 Financial Assistance

Finally, you could be denied government assistance to obtain an education. Once you have a criminal conviction, you are not going to be able to get federal assistance to help you pay your tuition, and you are not going to be able to be awarded any federal or even state grants to help you pay for your education either. If you are still pursuing your education, this could get more complicated and expensive if you are convicted of a criminal charge.

Being charged and convicted of a crime can have long-range consequences for the rest of your life, making it more expensive to obtain an education and harder to find a job and housing, and could compromise your ability to develop a relationship with your children. If you even suspect that the police are looking into filing criminal charges against you, you should contact an attorney from a firm like Boehmer Law right away to protect your interests, well-being, and life.