How Will a Felony Conviction Impact My Life?
It’s known that felony convictions produce more severe penalties and fines than misdemeanors and other low-level offenses. However, you might not know the ways a felony conviction can follow you long after you complete your sentence. Here’s more on the types of felony crimes you might face and how they could impact your life.
Common Felony Crimes in California
You might have been charged or convicted of the following felony crimes:
- Domestic violence
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence
These are only a few felony crimes you could be charged with. Some of these crimes are considered “wobblers.” This means that they could be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the details of your case.
How Felony Convictions Could Impact Your Life
Even after you complete your sentence for a felony conviction, you might find it hard to return to everyday life. Job opportunities could be limited, and you might lose fundamental civil rights as a convicted felon, among other negative consequences. Here are some ways a felony conviction could impact your life:
You May Have Limited Employment Opportunities
Although there are specific guidelines employers must follow in California when requesting information regarding your criminal history, a felony conviction can potentially limit job opportunities. Employers will consider the nature of the offense, the time that has elapsed since the crime, and other factors to determine if your conviction should disqualify you from employment.
You should note that employers are prohibited from asking any questions pertaining to your criminal history on your job application. However, once an offer is made, they can explore your criminal history. Furthermore, you might be prohibited from certain jobs that require a license, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, and teachers, to name a few.
Basic Civil Rights Will Be Limited
In addition to limited employment opportunities, the government revokes some of your most basic civil rights after a felony conviction. This includes your second amendment right to own a firearm. Furthermore, a felony conviction prohibits you from serving on a jury or enlisting in the armed forces.
You Could Lose Your Immigration Status
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen, your legal status could be in jeopardy if you’re convicted of a felony. Immigrants who commit a felony that results in more than 364 days in jail could be charged with an aggravated felony, according to California Immigration Law. Aggravated felonies have severe immigration consequences, which can include deportation.
You Might Have to Register as a Sex Offender for Life
Felony sex crimes, such as rape or lewd acts with a child under 14, might require you to register as a sex offender in addition to your initial sentence. Depending on the details of your offense, you might have to register for life. Sex offender registration could prohibit you from living in certain areas, using any electronic communication devices, or being within a certain distance of children.
You Could Lose Custody of Your Children
Your criminal record doesn’t prevent you from gaining custody of your children. However, it could make it more challenging. Your ex might use your felony conviction against you to convince the judge that granting you custody is not in your children’s best interest.
How Long Does a Felony Stay on Your Record?
Typically, a California felony would remain on your permanent record for the rest of your life. However, recent legislation might allow those convicted of certain felony crimes to seal their record.
SB-731, which goes into effect July 1, 2023, states that convicted felons could have their records sealed if they are not convicted of another felony for four years following their sentence and any other parole or probation requirements.
This law only applies to certain felony crimes and may not apply to any crimes requiring sex offender registration.
What Are Your Options When Charged with a Felony?
Despite the bleak possibilities of a felony conviction, you still have a chance to fight your charges. Remember, some felony offenses are considered “wobblers.” Your attorney could negotiate with the prosecution to reduce your felony charge to a misdemeanor.
Your attorney could also claim that the evidence against you was acquired unlawfully, whether through illegal search and seizure or other forms of misconduct. The less evidence the prosecution has, the weaker their case becomes. Depending on your charges, you might have other options available to you.
For example, you might be eligible for a drug diversion program if you’re charged with drug crimes, or you could claim self-defense if you’re charged with aggravated assault or murder. Your attorney will examine your case and exhaust all your options.
Charged with a Felony? Call Morris Law Today
Felony convictions are severe and could make it feel impossible to navigate life after your sentence is up. The best way to avoid these negative consequences is to fight your felony charges while you still can. To do that, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney willing to do whatever it takes to clear your name.
Seth Morris of Morris Law has helped secure dismissals and no-time deals on murder cases and people facing life in prison. No case is too far gone, and we’ll personally walk you through the criminal process to protect your rights. Contact us today at (510) 225-9955 for a free consultation.