When you were young, you probably did something you genuinely regret. You’ve served the time and reflected on your actions. Now, all you want is to live a normal and peaceful life.
But life as an ex-offender who’s rehabilitated is definitely challenging. You will face stigmas that hinder your chances of finding a job or a home.
That’s why you’ve decided to shift to sunny Los Angeles (LA), California, and take advantage of the ‘Fair Chance Act.’ Introduced in 2018, this law aims to reduce civil rights barriers for people with a criminal record.
Even then, you’ll need extra legal help to be safe from societal discrimination. For that, you’ll need to hire personal injury lawyers or real estate attorneys once you get a job.
In this blog, we will discuss three types of lawyers every rehabilitated ex-convict in LA should hire when in trouble.
#1. Personal Injury Lawyer
Hourly rate: USD 150 to USD 450 per hour
Since you’ve got a felony history, people will blame you by default if any accident occurs that involves you. For instance, if you get involved in a car accident on the streets of LA, the police will question you more, even if the incident wasn’t your fault.
Usually, car accidents happen in this city because of alcohol or drug misuse, aggressive driving, rush-hour traffic, etc. Hence, you should avoid engaging any of these things since you’re already rehabilitated.
Other than that, you might face workplace accidents if your job requires extreme manual work. Without proper legal assistance, you might miss out on the rightful monetary compensation in these situations.
That’s why you must find the best one among the thousands of personal injury lawyers in LA. They will help you prove that the defendants are liable for the damages and injuries caused.
Technically, these lawyers have passed the California Bar Exam, graduated from law schools, and can legally practice law in LA. Hence, they will offer legal support in civil litigation and represent you if you’ve sustained injuries. For example, these can be from workplace accidents, medical malpractice, car accidents, dog bites, or product liability.
According to Frantz Law Group, plaintiffs will get compensated for medical expenses, emotional suffering, loss of income, etc. When looking for a personal injury lawyer in the city, check their success report, client testimonials, location, etc. You should also check if the lawyer is willing to represent a former convict before asking for a quote.
#2. Labor Lawyer
Hourly rate: USD 498 per hour
In 2023, LA had the largest number of layoffs. Approximately 9,379 people were fired across various industries. Even with the Fair Chance Act, your employers might discriminate against you, and job security might be an issue.
That’s why you need a labor lawyer to handle the relationship between you and your employer if anything happens. Especially in LA, you can hold your employers liable if they discriminate against you based on your conviction history.
A labor lawyer will help you deal with issues like workplace harassment, work hour regulation, wage discrepancies, pension security, etc.
Usually, LA-based labor lawyers will focus on collective bargaining and union-management relations. You can also seek help from these attorneys if you want to file a lawsuit against the company for mistreatment, unlawful termination, etc.
When consulting with a labor lawyer, remember to ask questions about your rights and regulations, entitled compensation, fee structure, success rate, etc. With their help, you can navigate through complex employment rules and Californian labor law. They can also advise you on proper employment practices to help fight any workplace discrimination.
#3. Real Estate Lawyer
Hourly rate: USD 677 per hour
A history of conviction and incarceration will be a lifelong obstacle to finding housing. Thankfully, in LA, many organizations help ex-convicts re-enter society and reduce recidivism. They offer assistance with job search, transitional housing, case management, etc.
However, there might come a time when you’d prefer to own a house or an apartment. While the Fair Chance Act bars real estate agents from running criminal record checks, public housing still remains a concern for ex-offenders.
As a rehabilitated individual, there’s a possibility you might face discrimination when buying a property. Moreover, real estate is expensive in LA, with the median price of an apartment being USD 7,986. That’s why you’ll need a real estate lawyer to help you get the best deal on housing and negotiate with realtors.
These attorneys will take care of all the property paperwork and ensure everything is correctly filed with the authorities. They’ll also perform title searches to negotiate a fair price for the property you want to own. Moreover, these lawyers help safeguard your rights and interests during a real estate deal.
In summary, rehabilitated ex-convicts living in LA face multiple struggles in their daily lives. Thankfully, the government has taken steps to help them re-enter society without challenges.
For example, the introduction of the Fair Chance Act has helped multiple ex-felons find jobs and housing. It proves that, with proper support and guidance, recidivism rates will go down.
If you’re in the same boat, it would be wise to hire legal representatives to assist with housing, personal accidents, and job security. But remember, no lawyer will charge you for an initial consultation.