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What’s the long-term impact of being a convicted felon?

When a defendant is facing criminal charges, they often think about the short-term implications of being convicted of a crime such as fines or jail time. They don’t tend to think about the long-term impact of being found guilty of a felony. If they were aware of the latter, then they’d likely never agree to accept a plea deal or fight harder to defend themselves in court.

There are some basic civil rights that defendants lose when they’re convicted of felony charges including the ability to vote.

Some felons only lose this right while they’re serving their sentence or paying off their restitution. Others do so permanently. You may qualify to have your rights restored if you’re lucky enough to be granted a governor’s pardon.

Virtually every felon loses their right to possess a firearm. Some jurisdictions do have gun restoration laws on the books that may allow a convicted felon to have their firearm rights restored. They’ll often have to receive a governor’s or federal pardon or a felony expungement to be afforded this right once again though.

An individual who’s been convicted of a felony may struggle to land employment. Federal agencies are prohibited from using an applicant’s prior criminal history against them unless it specifically relates to the role that they’ve applied for. Most state laws allow employers to run background checks on their prospective employees and use their criminal record as a reason not to hire them.

Anyone who’s been convicted of a felony is generally unable to serve on a jury, reside in public housing or receive food stamps, Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) or other social benefits. The restrictions may only apply to individuals who’ve been convicted of certain crimes or only remain in effect while a defendant is completing their sentence. Some restrictions may be more permanent.

A conviction can also affect your ability to retain custody of your child.

There are many different collateral consequences associated with a felony conviction that go beyond fines and jail time. An attorney here in Bowling Green can delve a bit deeper into the long-term implications of you agreeing to a plea deal or you being convicted of a crime. Your lawyer may also discuss some potential defense strategies that you can pursue that can help you preserve all the freedoms that you currently enjoy here in Kentucky long-term.

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