Most people tend to think of the impacts of a criminal conviction in relation to the immediate effects. While these are life-impacting, there are many different consequences that a person who is convicted of a crime might face. The ones that aren’t imposed by the court as part of the sentencing are known as collateral consequences.
There are many different things that impact the types of collateral consequences a person will face. The classification of the crime — felony or misdemeanor — is one of these. The type of crime, such as a drug crime or a violent crime can also have an impact.
You might not realize that a conviction can also impact those who are close to you. It can also impact the direction of your local government and national government. There are an estimated 6.1 million Americans who aren’t eligible to vote simply because of a felony conviction. Those individuals can’t make their voice heard when there is an election.
Even children can be impacted by a criminal conviction. One out of every 50 children in the United States has a parent who is in prison. These children miss out on the guidance of that parent and the parent-child relationship during the incarceration. This can sometimes start a vicious cycle that leads the child down the wrong path.
Your economic state can be impacted by a conviction. Around 180,000 American women in 12 states are unable to get the help of cash assistance from the government because they have a drug conviction that’s a felony.
In all of these cases, one simple mistake can lead to a full circle of collateral consequences. Your defense is your best option to fight back against the possibility of this occurring to you.
Source: The Sentencing Project, “Collateral Consequences,” Oct. 25, 2017