People often look at the criminal justice system like this: If a court convicts you, you serve the sentence they issue, then, once you have done so, you can return to life as a regular citizen.
Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Society does not forgive and forget, and you could feel the effects of that conviction for the rest of your life. Here are some of the ways.
Employers might not want you
Companies often carry out background checks when looking for staff. Some of them will turn you down for any kind of criminal record. Others might do so if they feel it reduces their ability to trust you in the role they are recruiting for. For example, a delivery company might turn you down for a DUI. An accountancy firm for fraud charges.
People will talk
You could still lose out on opportunities without someone doing a background check. For example, a friend you meet years after your release is looking for someone to take care of their house and dogs while away. They are about to ask you when someone who knows of your past says they should not trust you.
Countries might not want you
If you are not a U.S. citizen, a criminal record could affect your chance to become one or even to remain, especially if the crime was a serious one. If you are but fancy moving overseas for a new start, other countries could turn you down because of your conviction.
If you find yourself in trouble with the police, get help to look at defense options to protect your short-term and long-term prospects.