Will I Lose My Personal Injury Case Because I Have a Criminal Record?

If you are completely honest and up-front with your attorney from the very beginning, your criminal record should not cost you your case. Your lawyers need to know so they can prepare a strategy to deal with it, because it will come out at some point. If your attorney doesn’t know and gets blindsided with it during trial, then yes, it could sabotage your case. The seriousness of the crime is not as important as the type of crime. Crimes of dishonesty are what can work against you because they undermine your credibility. This applies to any witnesses and the defendant, too.

Crimes of Dishonesty

Your opponent’s purpose in bringing up your past conviction is to make you look like a liar. One way of doing that is to show that you have a history of dishonesty. Even a petty crime of dishonesty may be admissible. Examples of crimes of dishonesty include:

  • Insurance fraud – a big one in personal injury cases
  • Theft, including shoplifting
  • Writing bad checks
  • Forgery
  • Perjury
  • Falsifying tax returns

Don’t Give Up on Your Case

Even if you have convictions that could hurt your case, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. There are ways to minimize the impact of your criminal record on your case. It may mean that you recover less than you would have without the conviction, but it does not mean your case is a lost cause. Depending on the unique circumstances in your case, your criminal history may not be admissible at all.

To learn more about your rights, and whether you have a good case, please talk to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.