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Small town drug convictions are hard to shake

Here in Peoria, it may seem like we are a big city with a real skyline, but for many people, the city is still a surprisingly small community. When a person faces drug charges here, the consequences can be enormous.

Unlike nearly all other non-violent criminal charges, a drug charge conviction can carry surprisingly heavy penalties, including harsh fines and potentially years behind bars.

That's not even the worst part, really.

Even after a person pays one's debt to society for a drug conviction, the presence of that conviction on his or her personal record can keep the individual from leading a safe, productive life. Drug convictions can really hang on to a person much longer than they should.

Legal and social consequences of a drug conviction

Let's say you face possession charges for marijuana or methamphetamine. You decide not to fight the charges for whatever reason -- maybe you think you can't afford it, maybe you think that the evidence against you is too strong to fight.

Maybe you only get a year or two behind bars, and you ride it out. When you get out of jail, you'll still face additional difficulties in fitting into the world as a whole.

Drug convictions can make it difficult to maintain a job or advance any kind of career. A surprising number of employers simply refuse to consider applicants with a drug conviction on their record. This means you may only have very limited options to make a living.

Even if you can get employment that pays a living wage, finding a place to live is also far more challenging. Even if you have an otherwise clean application with good credit and income, many landlords or rental management agencies will not rent to those with drug convictions on their record.

This can lead to struggling to find a safe place to live and work -- often contributing to further problems. The unfortunate consequence of these policies is that those with drug records often converge on a few places that will rent to them. If you simply made a mistake or faced unfair drug charges, you may find it difficult to get out of a community that encourages similar dangerous choices.

In reality, there are many ways a skilled attorney can fight for your rights.

Build a strong team to fight for your future

The good news is that you do not have to fight for your future all by yourself. It is wise to seek out strong legal representation as soon as you possibly can when you face drug charges. The longer you wait to begin building your defense, the more difficult it is to create it.

An experienced attorney can help you examine the circumstances of your charges and identify any aspects of the arrest and the charges that may work in your favor. With strong legal counsel, you can ensure that your rights remain protected while you fight for your future.

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