If you’re facing criminal charges, it is important to think beyond the immediate consequences and consider the big picture. Even after you have paid your fines and/or served your time behind bars, that conviction may impact your life. If the offense stays on your permanent record, for instance, it can make it difficult or even impossible to find a job in your chosen field.

After all, employers are allowed to choose not to hire people with a record. In many occupations, they have plenty of qualified applicants. If you have a record and someone else doesn’t, and the rest of your qualifications are the same, who are they going to choose? In other cases, you can’t even legally get hired with a record. For instance, if the job requires you to carry a gun and your felony record means you can’t do so, that job is off the table.

Should you lie? It’s something many people consider. When you put in that application, what if you just tell them you don’t have a record?

It’s not worth it. They’re most likely just going to catch you. After all, reports claim that up to 96 percent of companies do not hire people without running background checks. Your employer is going to find your record eventually. Lying may get you in the room initially for that interview, but it’s not going to get you the job.

It’s crucial to think through all of this when facing charges. This is why you must know what legal defense options you have. A conviction really can change your life.