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TRBR. Todd Bennett, P.C.

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The true scarlet letter of a criminal conviction

We would all like to think society forgives and forgets easily when a person has committed a crime and paid their dues. However, this does not seem to be the case. Even for nonviolent crimes, the social stigma is very real and long-lasting. According to a Justice Department Survey in 2012, state records across the country contain a total of 100 million criminal records. That is a huge chunk of our population that has been charged with a crime. But even with this vast number of people, they are still faced with ongoing consequences.

As an example of this continuing stigma, here are the results of an experiment conducted by Harvard and Princeton University professors. A pool of applicants for the same job were randomly given a criminal record. The results for the applicants that applied with this assigned record were astounding. They were half as likely as the other unassigned applicants to even get an interview.

But what happens to those with criminal records who actually end up getting a job after serving time? They end up getting paid up to forty percent less than those without records. While some people may argue that criminals deserve this kind of treatment, then why even have a justice system in place if that is even the case?

When a person convicted of their crime has done what the court has asked of them, whether probation, rehabilitation or even incarceration, haven't they paid their dues? These statistics and studies seem to point to an answer from our society: not yet. With a social stigma still as clear and ever present as it is today, people facing a criminal charge or investigation should take their situation very seriously. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney is the first step towards a serious defense.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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