The process of serving out your prison term might be challenging. You essentially lose control over your daily activities when the court convicts you. You may still be required to refrain from using drugs and alcohol while on probation, surrender your driving privileges, and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
Unfortunately, the effects of a criminal conviction can continue long after your sentence has run its course. As a result, after completing your sentence, you should contact your criminal defense lawyer for legal guidance. The lawyer will give you advice on what to do next.
In California, a criminal conviction may have the following consequences:
Having Problems Obtaining a New Job
Your capacity to find employment after a felony conviction is one of the main effects. A felony conviction may make it more difficult for you to find work. Due to the competitive job market, many employers are picky about who they interview and hire. Employers are legally permitted to conduct a background investigation and, based on the results, hire a candidate.
If you have any criminal convictions, including felony or misdemeanor convictions, the employers might also question you personally. You must be truthful when answering the questions under the law but not reveal any arrests that did not end in a conviction. You might not be invited for an interview if you disclose your criminal history on your resume.
Also, you may not be able to pursue certain professions if you have certain convictions. Additionally, it can prevent you from acquiring a professional license for employment. For example, a school system might not hire someone convicted of a sex crime.
You Lose Firearm Ownership Rights
In California, you forfeit your ability to own a gun if you are convicted of a crime, particularly a felony. Depending on the behavior that led to your conviction, some misdemeanors, like drug and domestic violence offenses, may also result in a permanent or temporary loss of your right to own a gun. Additionally, if you are under 18, addicted to drugs, or have a mental disease, you are ineligible to carry a firearm.
Understanding California's and the federal government's rigorous firearm control legislation can be challenging. However, you can regain your future gun ownership rights in two main ways. The first choice is to have the felony conviction lowered to a misdemeanor.
The second choice entails obtaining the governor's forgiveness. You should be aware that while California law will grant relief if the offense is reduced to a misdemeanor, federal law does not recognize the effects of a post-conviction reduction.
Implications of Immigration
Whether you have legal status or not, if you are an immigrant living in the United States, you must abide by local and federal laws. Alternatively, the police must uphold the rights the state and the nation have granted you. Deportation might follow a conviction.
You want to know how serious an immigrant's arrest in California is. Even if you've lived your entire life in the United States, a felony record might change everything. Therefore, if you are an immigrant in the USA and face a criminal conviction, you want to seek legal help from your criminal defense attorney.
In California, voting is a right. However, you can lose the right if you face a criminal conviction. Many people facing criminal charges lose their right to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or performing required community service.
You can still vote even if you are on felony probation or misdemeanor probation violation while awaiting your trial. You can immediately regain your ability to vote after completing your parole or probation. Consult with your lawyer to determine the best time and how to regain your voting rights.
Permanent Criminal Record
You will have a lifelong criminal record if you commit a crime in California and the criminal court finds you guilty. The fact that you were sentenced for committing a crime is documented, whether online or in written documents. Anytime a background investigation is done, the criminal history will be revealed.
You must declare your guilt while filling out an application. Therefore, a conviction is something you will always hold. You might believe the court will let you seal the criminal record, but only under limited circumstances. If you have a criminal record, you want to speak with your attorney to help you erase it.
Challenges Renting an Apartment or Home
Can a criminal conviction impact your search for a new home? Yes, it can. Even though it is against the law for a landlord to discriminate against you, many businesses refuse to rent to anyone with a criminal record, mainly if the conviction is drug- or violence-related. When the landlord refuses to let you rent a residence, you lose your chance to stay in a safe home.
As a result, your family may be impacted both physically and emotionally. You are not required to tell the landlord if you have a criminal history but no convictions. However, if you have a criminal conviction, you must be truthful when describing your prior criminal record.
Challenges Obtaining a Professional License
Several professions, like law and medicine, demand that you demonstrate your good moral character and that nothing in your life can compromise the ethical norms of your field before you can be granted a professional license. Contrary evidence, however, may come from your past criminal convictions.
When someone refuses to provide you with a professional license, you may need to provide them with more evidence. Regardless of your prior criminal history, the evidence will help demonstrate that you can uphold the norms of your profession. Your licensing board's or agency's actions against you will also have unfavorable outcomes.
For example, doctors and dentists can have their liability insurance canceled. As a result, they lose their hospital privileges. Future license applications will make clear all previous specialties. So, applying for a professional license in the future becomes a challenge.
Your defense team should include a lawyer with experience defending professional and vocational licenses. You can avoid having the situation reported to your licensing agency with the aid of the defense team.
Difficult being Accepted into Graduate Programs
Many people with criminal histories also need to go to graduate schools and institutions. However, declaring a criminal conviction in the application could be damaging and embarrassing. Even though you might be a strong fit for the program, the felony record may hurt your essay, GPA, and other references.
Be aware that if you fail to declare your criminal history when applying, your application may be denied or you may face disciplinary action later. Ensure you speak with your attorney if you have a criminal conviction so they can offer you legal advice.
In California, it could be difficult for you to obtain a mortgage, an auto loan, or a business loan if you have a criminal conviction. Many lenders turn away individuals with criminal records. The lenders view the applicants' character and capacity to repay the loan as high-risk.
A felony conviction will complicate your loan application if you are a student. Even though your sentence does not automatically disqualify you from receiving financial help for college, it may impact your loan eligibility. You will not be qualified for the loans if your conviction involves selling or possessing banned substances.
The bank might agree to lend you the money if you persuade them that you are reliable and can repay the loan. The likelihood that the bank will view you as a high-risk borrower or reject your loan application increases with the number of crimes you have on your criminal record. Clearing up your criminal conviction can increase your chances of getting a bank loan.
Restrictions on International Travel
If convicted in California, the law may restrict you from traveling outside the state and country in several ways. Remember that a person convicted of a particular offense in their country will have their passport revoked. For example, your passport will be canceled according to federal law if you are found guilty of a felony crime for actions that involve international travel. For the duration of the sentence, the revocation will be in effect.
You Lose Child Custody Rights
If you have a felony conviction on your record for spousal or child abuse, obtaining custody of your child may be difficult. You will not be eligible for custody if you are involved in child abuse. If you have a criminal conviction, the court will likely refuse to grant you child custody because it always considers your criminal history when making custody decisions.
The parent who could be found guilty in front of their child receives the judge's attention in criminal court. Violent crimes may also affect a custody decision. The court presumes you are ineligible for sole or joint custody for five years, even if you don't have a criminal record, and the court determines you to have abused or used violence against your child.
Clearance for Security
If you have a past criminal conviction and wish to seek a security clearance, you must include this information in your application materials. The government agency you are applying to will answer your question regarding whether the conviction will affect your eligibility for the security clearance.
The authorities in charge of the security authorization will examine the circumstances surrounding the conviction to decide what action to take against you if you already have a security clearance. The officer in charge will promptly revoke the clearance if the offense is a felony. You may also lose your clearance if found guilty of non-felony offenses.
Your employment prospects may suffer if you lose your clearance. Keep in mind that a criminal charge differs significantly from a criminal conviction. Therefore, disclose if you have a criminal charge but no conviction.
Revocation or Suspension of a Driver's License
Your license will occasionally be suspended if you are found guilty of a DUI crime, regardless of any administrative suspension by the DMV. The type of offense you face determines how long your license will be suspended. With each DUI in your driving history, your license is suspended for progressively longer periods.
Under the DUI rules, DUI offenses must occur within ten years of the first DUI conviction. Any DUI case outside this window has no bearing on your case. The following things can raise your risk of having your license suspended:
- Refusing to take a test for chemicals.
- When you were arrested, you were on probation for a DUI.
Additionally, your driver's license may be suspended indefinitely. Your license may be revoked by the state if:
- DUI caused significant physical harm.
- DUI and manslaughter charges together.
- If found guilty of DUI homicide, you could go to jail.
Adopting a Child
Adopting a child is not a process you should take lightly. Regardless of your relationship with the child—sister, brother, parent, grandparent, stepsister, aunt, or no relation—you are responsible for making wise choices in your best interests. However, adopting a child may be difficult if you have a criminal past.
The legal procedure could end if one of you engages in any of the following violations while adopting a child:
- Domestic violence.
- Felonious child abuse or neglect.
- A crime connected to drugs.
- A crime against children, such as child abuse, child neglect, and child pornography.
- A violent crime, such as kidnapping, murder, manslaughter, or sexual assault.
If you meet all the conditions and the offense was committed ten years ago, the court may grant you a license regardless of the criminal offense on your record. Additionally, your family must currently have a secure home environment.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me
You should know the possible repercussions if you face a criminal conviction. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can help reduce the long-term and short-term consequences of a criminal conviction. At Foos Gavin Law Firm, we are aware of the impact a criminal conviction may have on your life.
We are committed to working with you to build a solid defense so that you can minimize the short- and long-term effects of the conviction. If you need legal assistance in Sacramento, we can help. Speak with one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys by calling us at 916-779-3500 immediately.