Criminal convictions have many direct consequences, including jail or prison sentences, periods of community supervision, fines, and mandatory community service hours. However, criminal convictions also can have collateral consequences that can adversely impact your life for many years, if not indefinitely.
You could jeopardize your job and your career. In some cases, a criminal conviction can prevent you from ever working again in specific industries. A conviction also could hinder your ability to gain admission to colleges, graduate schools, or professional schools. You may be unable to obtain some professional licenses if you have a particular criminal conviction in your background.
Criminal convictions can cause you to lose some rights. For instance, under federal law, a felony conviction or any conviction for domestic violence, whether a felony or misdemeanor, prevents you from possessing firearms. Certain felony drug convictions prevent you from eligibility for federal financial aid. Some convictions, such as a DWI or related charge, can cause you to lose your driver’s license either temporarily or indefinitely, based on your situation. If you need a valid license for your job, then you may be at risk of losing your job.
Other potential collateral consequences for a criminal conviction can include the following:
- Immigration consequences, including removal
- Sex offender registration
- Mandatory submission of DNA samples to law enforcement agency databases
- Ineligibility for certain government public benefits
Individuals with certain criminal convictions may experience heightened difficulties in renting apartments and obtaining credit. Public housing assistance may be unavailable for individuals with certain felony convictions.
You also should be aware that collateral consequences may change over time or between states. For example, if you are convicted of a sex offense, you may not be required to register as a sex offender in the state in which you were convicted. However, if you move to another state, registration for that offense may be mandatory. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal representation of countless individuals facing various criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.