When a person is convicted of committing a crime, the penalties which tend to cause the most worry are often the formal penalties, such as prison, probation, parole supervision, fines, and community service. However, these court-imposed consequences are not the only repercussions of having a conviction in your past. You will also be burdened with a criminal record, which can continue to have a negative impact on your life long after you have served any jail time and paid for your wrongdoing.
Being convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor can show up on your permanent criminal record forever. This carries a stigma that can impact your ability to attend a university, or to gain certain professional certifications. Additionally, because the overwhelming majority of large employers conduct background checks on prospective hires, a criminal past can hinder your ability to maintain steady employment.