When someone is convicted of a crime, there are direct consequences, which can include
- a fine,
- jail time, or
- prison time.
In many cases, a combination of these consequences is imposed by the court. But these are the only consequences one might face as the result of a criminal conviction. “Collateral consequences” refers to consequences on faces not directly from the court, but rather from other sources.
Losing the Right to Vote
If one is convicted of a felony, one loses their right to vote in state and federal elections. This loss remains until one's civil rights are restored, typically after they have finished with their probationary period or prison time and subsequent supervision. Until that time, it may be against the law to vote.
Losing the Right to Own Firearms
If one is convicted of a felony, or certain misdemeanors, one loses their right to own firearms. This includes not only guns but also ammunition. Both state and federal laws impact one's ability to own firearms after a criminal conviction.
Even for people legally in the country, a criminal conviction can have immigration consequences. Depending on the nature of the offense, a criminal conviction could result in deportation, or a refusal to allow one to apply for citizenship. Crimes of moral turpitude, as well as felony offenses, are two examples (but not the only crimes) which can result in immigration consequences.
Losing the Right to Privacy in One's DNA
For those convicted of felonies, the loss of their privacy in their DNA is a consequence of either pleading guilty or being found guilty by a jury. Rhode Island not only collects the DNA of convicted felons, they upload these profiles to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) maintained by the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Once entered, these profiles are searchable against countless crime scene DNA profiles across the country.
Losing the Right to Federal Grants and Loans
A felony conviction can bar one from participating in federally funded grant and student loan programs. While not a complete barrier to getting a college education, federally funded loans play an important part for many college students.
Losing the Right to Certain Housing
Many apartment complexes are hesitant to rent to convicted felons. In fact, some apartment owners impose a complete ban on renting to those with criminal convictions. Further, once one has a criminal conviction on their record, they no longer qualify for federal funds such as Section 8 housing.
Facing Criminal Charges?
As you can see, there are many, many consequences of pleading guilty to a felony charge. You need a lawyer who will leave no stone unturned in fighting for you. Contact The Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq.
We provide vigorous criminal defense services to those facing charges in the criminal justice system in Rhode Island. Whether you are charged with a serious felony or a simple misdemeanor, a criminal conviction could have lasting consequences. Kensley R. Barrett, Esq. applies his knowledge and skills to explore every avenue of defense. Contact us today for a free consultation at (401) 380-6724.