Commentary - Recovering Your Reputation After Convictionby Attorney Carlos Gamino on 04/08/14
As an accomplished criminal defense lawyer in the state of Wisconsin, Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño has represented clients in hundreds of different cases. Here’s what he has to say about repairing your reputation after you’ve been convicted of a crime.
When you’ve been found guilty of a crime and paid your dues to society, you should be able to start with a clean slate. The problem is that sometimes your reputation is extremely tarnished – but what can you do to fix it?
I want to start out by saying that it’s not fair that you have to try to repair your reputation. Once your debt to society is paid, either because you were incarcerated, you did community service, or you paid fees and fines, you should be free and clear.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that.
Employers can pull up your past records and use them against you in the hiring process. Your crimes may be permanently recorded online where the public has access to them. Your story might have been covered in the news, or you may live in a small town where people have long memories and hold grudges.
In some cases, you can get a fresh start by having some charges expunged from your record. While law enforcement and the courts will still be able to see those charges and convictions, potential employers might not – and sometimes that’s all it takes to get back on track and move forward.
In other cases, it’s not as easy. You might have to work hard to build your reputation back up by showing people that you’re who they think you are. Maybe you’ll choose to volunteer in the community; maybe you’ll create a blog about your experiences; perhaps you’ll move to a new area and start from scratch.
It’s not easy, but I’ve seen hundreds of clients do it successfully. If they can, you can – all you need is the right attitude and the willingness to put in a little work.
I wish you the best of luck.