When you think about the possibility of receiving a guilty verdict regarding your criminal case, you probably already know about the standard punishments people receive. You’ll be left to pay fines, possibly deal with probation, or maybe even serve time in jail. But did you know there are actually a number of other lesser known consequences you could be dealing with afterwards?
While the aforementioned punishments are typically given to you by the court, there are collateral consequences that can make your life more difficult after a criminal conviction. To prepare you for what may lie ahead, here are the true consequences of losing your criminal case.
Losing the Ability to Vote
As American citizens, one of the most important things we can do for our country is to let our voices be heard by voting in elections. While many people feel as though their vote doesn’t count, this simply isn’t true. And we should all cherish the ability to vote for our elected officials. After all, it’s how we give our input into the future of our country.
But did you know that if you’re convicted of a felony of any kind, you will lose your right to vote in both state and federal elections? This is one of the consequences of losing your criminal case that many people forget about. You will be unable to vote until your civil rights are restored, which typically happens after serving a probationary period and/or time in jail. However, some states ban felons from ever voting again.
Ineligibility for Public Funds
Another consequence of that guilty verdict is becoming ineligible to receive public funds for a variety of things. One example of that is student loans. If you hoped to turn your life around and get an education after experiencing a bout of trouble, it’s going to be much more difficult financially. Being convicted of a felony can prevent you from receiving grants toward your education, as well as student loans.
To make things even more challenging, you may also be denied welfare benefits. This creates even more financial struggle for convicted criminals upon returning to the “real world.” And unfortunately, it can often lead them to return to a life of crime.
Difficulty Finding Housing
If you’re hoping to rent a new apartment and get a fresh start, be prepared to face some challenges there as well. Many landlords are often hesitant to rent to those who are convicted felons. This is going to make it more difficult for you to find a nice, safe place to call home. Not only that, but you might not quality for Section 8 housing either if you need it.
Loss or Restriction of Driver’s License
Depending on the charge, you could find your driver’s license is restricted or revoked altogether. This is often the case for those who have been charged with multiple DUIs or vehicular homicide. It’ll make it even more challenging to get to and from work when trying to rebuild your life after a criminal conviction. The same consequences can occur regarding professional licenses, which you may need for specific jobs.
Losing the Ability to Own Firearms
Most state and federal laws prevent anyone who has been convicted of a felony from possessing both firearms and ammunition. You can once again become eligible to own firearms after having your record expunged or by having your civil rights restored.
Deportation for Immigrants
One of the most serious consequences of losing your criminal case is deportation. Immigrants who are found guilty of a crime in the United States may be deported to their home country after their time in court. This is a harsh reality for many immigrants, including those who aren’t American citizens, but hold permanent resident status within the States.
Whether or not you face deportation after losing your case will depend on the nature of the crime committed. For example, being charged with a felony could result in deportation. And for many immigrants who spent the majority of their lives in the United States, this change can come as quite a shock.
Besides deportation, you could also be denied a citizenship application in the future. This means you won’t have the opportunity to become an American citizen.