A majority of states in the US separate crimes into two categories, felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors. These are offenses that may include assault, fraud, rape, murder or burglary. In addition to possible prison time and parole upon release, there are collateral consequences to consider after being charged with a felony. These are consequences that continue after your official punishment has ended.
A felony conviction could affect your life in multiple ways. Possible collateral consequences include:
- Losing your eligibility to vote. Many states, including California, have restrictions on voting if you have been convicted of a felony. In California, you are ineligible to vote while you are on parole for a felony conviction.
- Losing your eligibility to possess a firearm. You cannot own a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. Felony convictions result in a lifetime firearm ban.
- Losing your eligibility for certain professional licenses. Depending on the nature of the crime and other circumstances, a felony conviction could make you ineligible to obtain or retain certain professional licenses.
- Greater difficulty finding work. Employers may ask for your criminal history after it has been determined you are a qualified job candidate. A felony conviction can make it more difficult to secure employment.
- Greater difficulty finding housing. Landlords and leasing offices may perform background checks. In some cases, a felony can make it more difficult to find housing.
- Losing eligibility for certain federal benefits. You may lose eligibility for certain federal or state benefits if you are convicted of a felony.
The nature of a felony can also determine how you are affected after release. For instance, sex crimes may require registration on the sex offender registry.
Questions About Felony Charges? Contact Our San Jose Criminal Defense Law Firm
Felony charges should always be taken very seriously. If you are being charged with a felony, then it is crucial to speak with a criminal defense attorney. The San Jose and Santa Clara criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP. could answer questions about your charges as well as possible options for defending yourself from a felony conviction.