If you get a criminal conviction, it can impact your life in various ways. Not only may you potentially face fines and jail time, but it may affect your employment, government benefits, finances and overall reputation.

Criminal convictions have far-reaching consequences that you may not know about. Here are some ways a criminal record can change your life.

Job opportunities

There are several possible employment consequences of a criminal record. For one, you may need to inform current and prospective employers of your conviction. Employers may also conduct criminal background checks before accepting your application. Almost any conviction can impede your employment goals, unless for a minor violation. 

Public benefits

You may hurt your eligibility for some public benefits after a criminal conviction. You may lose access to or face trouble with several programs:

  • Student loans
  • Worker’s compensation benefits
  • Social Security
  • Food stamps
  • Public housing

The exact consequences depend largely on the details of your charge and conviction. 


Even if you keep your job or find a new one following a conviction, you may still deal with a wide variety of financial issues. Going to court, paying fines and serving time in jail can significantly devastate your finances. This can make it difficult to pay your bills, let alone cover the fines and court costs. Plus, if you fail to pay on time, you may face additional penalties and charges.

Reputation and stigma

There is a societal stigma that comes with having a criminal record. You may harm your reputation, especially because almost anyone can search for your criminal records. The general public has instantaneous access to criminal court records under Kentucky law. This means landlords, creditors, friends, family members, neighbors and acquaintances may all be able to discover your convictions. You may suffer the loss of various opportunities due to the widespread availability of court records.