There is no question that a drug charge primarily impacts the person accused of the offense. However, criminal charges can have a ripple effect on those closest to the person accused.
If you recently got arrested for a drug offense like possession, you won’t be the only one who suffers the extended consequences of a guilty plea or conviction. Your spouse, your children and anyone else living with you experience the impact of those charges as well.
What are some of the ways that a drug charge could impact your family?
It could cost you your job
Any criminal conviction could lead to the loss of your job even if you don’t face jail time. Some employers have a zero-tolerance policy for convictions and will fire you as soon as they learn about your guilty plea or conviction.
Other times, while your employer may not fire you, you may not be able to continue your job. Drug charges could lead to a loss of your professional licensing, regardless of whether you are a nurse or a school bus driver. Losing the income of one family member, particularly if they are the breadwinner, can be devastating.
The investigation or arrest could traumatize everyone
Sometimes, police officers hover outside of your home for weeks trying to slowly build the case that you have broken the law. Other times, they will conduct a no-knock raid when executing a search warrant related to drug activity.
Being aware of the police around your home could cause a lot of stress for you, your spouse and other family members. Those home when the police executed a search warrant, especially a no-knock search warrant executed in the middle of the night, may develop post-traumatic stress or other psychological responses to police activity at your home.
Drug charges could affect your parental rights
If you get convicted of a drug offense, Child Protective Services could start looking into your family. In a worst-case scenario, the state could have grounds for terminating your parental rights because of your alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade or your use of mind-altering substances.
Even if CPS doesn’t investigate your family, drug charges could still affect everyone. Your spouse or the other parent of your children could try to deny you parenting time because of your criminal record.
Recognizing that drug charges will affect everyone you love might motivate you to fight back against them instead of just pleading guilty.