Honesty is the Best Policy: What To Do When You Have A Criminal Conviction from the Past

Bernard Tully Personal Injury Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700

A common question we get are asked by our clients is whether a past criminal conviction will affect their personal injury claim.  Just last week, a client called and said, “Hey Bernie, I need to be honest with you. I was in a car accident and needed to get surgery. But I have two criminal convictions on my record, and I don’t want the insurance company’s attorneys to know about it.” He asked me what can auto accident attorney Bernard Tully do to help?

My answer was that honesty is the best policy and you can’t hide your past convictions from the other side. They are going to find out. However, the good news is not all criminal convictions are allowed to be presented to the jury, even if that past conviction occurred a few weeks before your accident. For example, if it was a DUI, misdemeanor or an assault conviction, the jury won’t hear about it.

However, the courts will allow the jury to hear about past convictions for “crimen falsi” crimes- which means crimes involving dishonestly such as burglary, theft or embezzlement where lying is involved. If you haven’t been convicted of any crimes of dishonesty, you are in good shape and the jury will never hear about your criminal history.

Bottom line – honesty is the best policy. One way or another the other side is going to find out if you have a criminal record. The worst thing that can happen is if the defense insurance company was to expose that you were attempting to conceal your criminal history to a jury. At that point, you might as well call the case over because the jury will think poorly of your character.

Our main focus is honesty. We always preach it. We are passionate about trying to help any injured person or family member with their auto accident case. Questions about the blog? CALL US!

Bernard Tully Allegheny Car Accident Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700 and 1-800-518-0050