While it may sometimes seem as though credit reporting agencies manage to track everything about your life, whether it's purchases you make, payments you miss, loans you take out, and how many credit cards you have, you may be surprised to know that your criminal history generally isn't one of them. Whether you've been convicted of a crime apparently isn't of as much interest to credit reporting agencies as whether or not you pay your bills.
When Your Credit Score Can Suffer After a Conviction
And paying your bills on time – or being put in a position where you can't do so – is where a criminal history can hurt your credit score. When you are convicted of a crime, there can be a whole range of collateral consequences that may or may not have anything to do with the crime itself. You may lose your job because of the conviction and no longer have the same income, or any income; or you can't make your credit card or loan payments because you're in prison; or you are ordered to pay fines or restitution as part of your sentence but can't do so because the amounts are too high or your income is not sufficient. And, of course, if you declare bankruptcy because you can't pay your debts or come to an arrangement with your creditors, your credit score will seriously suffer for years to come.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Firm Can Help Make Sure You Protect Your Credit
This is why it's so important to have an experienced legal team at your side who will fight for your rights and do everything they can to resolve the charges against you in as favorable a way as possible. In addition, your legal team needs to understand that in cases where the circumstances may require a plea bargain, resolving a criminal matter is about more than just the penalty; it's about how the penalty is structured. If you stay out of jail but are saddled with a fine that you can't afford to pay, for example, there is a real danger that you could default on the fine and end up with thousands of dollars of civil debt on your credit record. An experienced legal team will take that into consideration and work with you and the court to try to structure the fine in such a way that you can make the payments, as painful as they might be.
Don't Try to Fix Things On Your Own
Criminal law is complicated, and working with prosecutors is something that good attorneys learn how to do through years of experience and effort. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team have that experience. They have been helping criminal defendants all over Pennsylvania for years, and can help you resolve the criminal charges against you. The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team understands how important it can be to maintain a good credit score, and they will do everything they can to help make sure the risk to yours is minimized. If you've been charged with any kind of crime in Pennsylvania, you don't want to take on the government alone or figure out by yourself how to defend yourself in court. Contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team today at 888.535.3686 or through their online contact form. They are there to listen, and to help.