criminal convictions

Criminal Convictions and Collateral Consequences

By Peek & Toland on July 9, 2019

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.

Criminal Convictions and Collateral Consequences

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.

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Can Criminal Convictions Stop Me from Going to College?

By Peek & Toland on July 1, 2019

Most colleges and universities do collect criminal background information on prospective students, and many consider a student’s criminal background when making admission decisions. The most typical way that colleges collect this information is by asking students for the information on their applications for admission. A few colleges conduct regular background checks on prospective students. If a student discloses a criminal background or it appears in a background check that a school performs, the school may request additional information, such as a letter of explanation from the student, or information confirming that the student has completed his or her probation or parole successfully.

One of the most significant barriers to attending college may be an inability to qualify for federal financial aid if you have been convicted of a felony involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance. If you have a felony drug conviction, you could be ineligible for federal loans, grants, and work-study benefits for some time, depending on the nature and the timing of your conviction. Nonetheless, you still could be eligible for state financial aid, including grants and scholarships.

Can Criminal Convictions Stop Me From Going to College?

There may be ways for you to regain eligibility for federal financial aid. For instance, if you have a felony possession conviction, you can regain eligibility for federal financial assistance after one year for a first-time offense or after two years for a second offense. A third conviction makes you ineligible indefinitely. If you have a drug sales felony conviction, however, you will be ineligible for two years following a first offense, and ineligible indefinitely after a second offense. You can regain ineligibility earlier if you complete a drug rehabilitation program or if you have the conviction overturned or removed.

The criminal defense attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are facing criminal charges. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas criminal defense attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.

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