4 Psychological Impacts of A Criminal Conviction

Davis-Jones Law Oct. 28, 2018

Austin has one of the greatest music scenes in the United States. Even when South By Southwest is not in full swing, 6th Street and 5th Street offer a huge selection of bars and concert venues that are often packed every night of the week. As a student at the University of Texas, you have unlimited access to these recreational activities. The other thing you probably have access to are drugs, such as marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and even ecstasy. While these substances might seem like a great idea to enhance a concert or a night out at the dance clubs, if police officers catch you with these drugs, you might face some serious consequences.

A criminal conviction for drug possession can come with some very expensive court fees, fines and possibly even jail time. In addition, the university might suspend you, you could lose access to any student aid you receive and a conviction might also limit your future job prospects. Another consequence you could suffer is psychological damage.


When individuals spend extensive periods of time in jail or prison, they often develop hyper-vigilance. This is because prisons are usually very dangerous places and inmates have to constantly stay on guard. As a result, convicts typically display signs of hyper-vigilance and develop behaviors that isolate them from society after release.

Emotionally Withdrawn

Another effect of spending time in prison is emotional distancing. Inmates tend to hide their emotions while in prison in order to avoid appearing weak. This often continues once the prisoner is back on the outside and hinders the ability to form meaningful relationships with other people.

Feelings of Guilt and Shame

After a criminal conviction, people usually have feelings of guilt and shame. If the convict is truly remorseful, then these feelings might manifest through constant apologies and attempts to make up for past mistakes. In addition, the person is less likely to commit future criminal offenses. However, if the individual reacts defensively to these feelings or blames someone else for his or her problems, it might lead to future acts of criminal behavior.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Since prison can be an extremely traumatic experience for most people, inmates often come out with varying levels of PTSD. This might include problems sleeping, emotional detachment and outbursts of anger.

If you are facing a drug charge or any other criminal offense, it is important to remember that you still have rights. You can defend yourself in court and fight back against the charges. A strong defense might help you avoid a conviction.