Life is complicated, but criminal charges change lives, period. While those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty, even charges can affect the accused’s lives. Even misdemeanor charges have serious effects, but murder charges can destroy one’s reputation, regardless of guilt. The internet is forever, and serious crimes rarely are not included somewhere on the internet. Two locals are experiencing this first hand.

Specifically, an Okaloosa County grand jury recently indicted two Andalusians and one Floridian on murder charges for the shooting death of Kaylun Gray. These charges included robbery with a firearm, second-degree felony murder, and first-degree felony murder.

If they are eventually convicted, each faces the death penalty or life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole. The Alabama Attorney’s Office will determine whether they will seek the death penalty within the next 30 days. This means that, if they so choose, each person’s life is on the line, which means crafting a defense now is imperative.

Though, even if these individuals are later acquitted of these charges, their fingerprints will remain in the FBI database for years. The newspaper and internet articles will continue to haunt their internet search results. This means that, even if they are acquitted, just being charged will affect their lives forever. For example, when future employers Google search their names, these charges will appear. Future romantic partners will do this same Google search with similar results, making both their professional and personal lives infinitely harder.

This is why seeking professional help is so important. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work on an acquittal, but they can also work on expungements and other things to help those accused retake their lives. Obviously, the internet can never be fully scrubbed, but a professional can at least help create a counter narrative.