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Good criminal defense can keep accusations in the past

One of the hardest things about living with a criminal conviction on one's record is the stigma it attaches to that person's future. New Jersey residents with criminal convictions face higher scrutiny when it comes to finding employment. Sometimes those convictions can come back to haunt them even after they have secured employment.

The shooting of a sailor by a transportation worker at Naval Station Norfolk has led Navy decision makers to ban anyone with a felony conviction in the prior decade from getting access to naval bases on the East Coast. Non-military personnel who have to transport items on to such bases must have a TWIC card, also known as a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Under the new rule, individuals with felony convictions on their records but who had successfully obtained TWIC cards may no longer use them to do their jobs at the military bases.

Since implementing the new rule it appears that around four dozen people have been denied access to naval bases due to the restriction. Some of those who were stopped from doing their jobs were right here in New Jersey.

This story is a good reminder that it does not always matter how far a conviction is in the past because often it can still come back to make life hard for the individual. In this case, an isolated incident in another state caused hardworking men and women to lose access to a critical part of their jobs. Their livelihoods may now be threatened in the wake of the Navy's decision to ban them from bases.

The long-term consequences of a criminal conviction are real and individuals currently facing criminal charges may want to do everything they can to keep convictions off of their records. By establishing and successfully arguing strong criminal defense strategies during their trials, some individuals may be able to beat the charges brought against them and preserve their conviction-free futures.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Dozens denied Navy base access due to past crimes," Brock Vergakis, April 21, 2014

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