Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction

 Posted on August 25,2017 in Felonies & Misdemeanors

Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerCriminal convictions are serious matters – especially when they are classified as a felony. They can also result in some pretty concerning criminal consequences, such as prison time, fines, administrative fees, court costs, and attorney fees. However, consequences of a felony conviction typically go well beyond the courts and costs; there are also collateral consequences to consider. Learn more about them, and how an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid them, in the following sections.

Employment Opportunities

When you have a felony conviction, it remains on your record for all to see – and that includes potential employers. Some may have restrictions on whether you can work with their company, based on a certain type of conviction (i.e. a felony theft conviction could bar you from working with registers or money). You may also be ineligible for government jobs (including the armed forces), as well as any job that requires a special license (teachers, health care, etc.).

Housing Opportunities

In addition to limiting your employment options, a felony conviction can limit your housing opportunities. Some landlords will not rent to felons on probation. Others will not rent to individuals who have a recent felony. Still, there are some that will not rent to you at all, regardless of how much time has passed since your conviction.

Federal Student Aid for Education

If your felony conviction is the result of a drug-related crime, you may be ineligible for student loans and grants from the federal government. You can still pursue additional education, but if you have been barred from receiving federal student aid because of a conviction, your funding would have to come from a private lender. Alternatively, you could pay cash for your education, but doing so is next to impossible for most Americans.

Federally Funded Benefits

Individuals with certain felony convictions on their record may be barred from receiving certain federally funded benefits. Examples include social security, state-funded welfare, public housing, and benefits based upon military benefits (even after you have served). Variations exist from one state to the next, and drug-related convictions have the most exclusion.

Sex Offender Registration

If your conviction is related to a sex offense, you may be required to register as a sex offender with the state’s registry. Being required to do so carries several collateral consequences, including restrictions on where you can live, work, or even stand. For example, you cannot come within 500 feet of a school zone, park, or daycare. You are also restricted from living within 1,000 feet of such locations. Another factor to consider is that your entire neighborhood may be notified of your presence, and your name can easily be found on the registry by anyone in your community. Sadly, this can lead to discrimination and may make you feel like a social outcast, even among family and friends.

Contact Our Arlington Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love is facing the possibility of a felony conviction, contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, for assistance. Backed by more than 25 years of knowledge and experience, our Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer will take an aggressive stance in your case. No matter what the circumstances, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Get started by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call 847-253-3400 today.


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