The Long-Term Impact of a Felony Conviction

Last Modified: April 11, 2024
The long-term impact of a felony conviction

Getting a felony conviction is life-changing. It can affect your job, where you can live, and even your relationships. This isn't just about spending time in jail. A felony stays on your record and can make life harder forever. At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we understand how a criminal record can impact your life. A criminal conviction can create obstacles, but felony convictions feel like a mountain.

A felony conviction is more than a mistake. It's a label that sticks with you, affecting your future in ways you might not expect. Whether you're applying for a job, looking for a place to live, or trying to take out a loan, that conviction comes up. It's a reminder of the past that can block many paths to a better future. Felony offenses and felony charges can also impact child custody rights. If you face criminal charges, learn more below and contact us for a case consultation.

Understanding the Scope of a Felony Conviction

Felonies are serious crimes, and the law treats them that way. If you're convicted, the court sees your actions as more harmful than lesser offenses. As a convicted felon, you could be stripped of many rights you used to enjoy. Criminal records are generally available to the public, and this conviction could follow you everywhere.

This kind of conviction divides your life into before and after. Before, you might not have thought twice about applying for a job or a loan. But after, each application form that asks about criminal history can feel like a stop sign. Felonies include a wide range of crimes, from burglary to violent crimes (like murder), each with its own set of long-term consequences. A conviction for a violent crime can have serious consequences. If you are facing a felony charge, contact our criminal defense lawyer to schedule a case consultation.

Comparing a Misdemeanor to a Felony

Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but that doesn't mean they're not serious. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have long-lasting effects. But felonies come with harsher sentences, including longer jail time. For example, a murder conviction could result in life in prison.

While both can affect your life, felonies are especially tough. They can make finding employment or housing much harder. This is because the law and society see felonies as a sign of more serious criminal behavior. The differences affect everything from your freedom to your future opportunities. We have seen a felony conviction affect all areas of someone's life.

Immediate Consequences of a Felony Conviction

Right after a felony conviction, your life will start to change. You might face time in jail or prison, which is hard. But the effects stretch beyond just spending time in prison. You might lose your job, home, or even custody of your children.

These immediate consequences are just the beginning. The conviction goes on your record, which can close doors for years. It's a tough path, and the first steps after conviction can be some of the hardest. The conviction is a shadow that follows you, making each step forward a bit harder.

Social and Economic Impacts of a Felony Record

Social and economic impacts of a felony record

Living with a felony record is challenging. It's like carrying a weight that only you can see, but everyone feels. This invisible burden can change how people see you and limit your chances to move forward.

Employment Challenges and Professional Restrictions

Finding a job is one of the biggest hurdles. Many employers hesitate to hire someone with a felony conviction, and some professions might even be off-limits entirely. It's a frustrating cycle where you want to move on, but the conviction holds you back.

You might have to say goodbye to dreams of certain careers. And even if you find a job, it might differ from what you hoped for. The best plan is to look for employers open to giving you a chance. It's about finding the right fit and showing that your past doesn't define you.

Housing and Educational Opportunities

Finding a place to live can also be tough. Many landlords do background checks and might not want to rent to someone with a felony conviction. This could include anything from rape and drug crimes to domestic violence. And if you're thinking about going back to school, that conviction could affect your financial aid. Some scholarships and loans might be out of reach, but you should keep pursuing your dreams. It's about finding the paths that are still open. We can help you explore your options.

Civil Rights and Personal Freedoms

A felony conviction can remove some of your most basic rights. Many people only think about this part of the punishment once it's gone. This loss can make you feel like you're still paying for your mistake long after your sentence is over.

Loss of Voting Rights, Firearm Possession, and Jury Service

In many places, if you have a felony conviction, you can't vote. This means you don't have a say in laws that affect you daily. You also might not be able to own a gun or serve on a jury. Many people take these rights for granted but can be out of reach for convicted felons.

Getting these rights back can be challenging. It often involves a long legal process, and success is not guaranteed. But losing these rights can motivate you to fight harder to regain them. It's a reminder of what's at stake and why it's worth it to keep pushing forward.

Implications for Travel and Immigration Status

Traveling outside the country can also be complicated. Some countries won't let you in if you have a felony conviction. If you're not a U.S. citizen, that conviction could affect your immigration status or even lead to deportation.

This can forgo your dreams of seeing the world or being separated from family in other countries. It's a tough reality that many convicted felons face. But it's also a call to action, a reason to explore legal options that might help clear the way for a better future.

Facing Life with a Felony Conviction

Facing life with a felony conviction

Living with a felony conviction is about navigating a world set against you. It's about facing each day, knowing you must work harder to prove yourself. But it's also about not letting your past define your future.

Social Stigma and Relationship Strains

The social stigma of a felony conviction can be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. People might only judge you if they know the whole story. This judgment can strain relationships with family, friends, and potential partners.

It's a daily challenge to show the world who you are, not just what's on paper. But it's also an opportunity to build stronger, more honest relationships with people who see beyond the conviction. These connections can be your foundation as you rebuild your life.

Access to Credit, Loans, and Financial Aid

Trying to get a loan or financial aid with a felony conviction can feel like hitting a wall. Banks and other lenders might see you as a risk and turn you down.

This can make going to college or buying a home much harder. However, some organizations and programs understand and want to help. It's about finding these resources and making the most of them.

Legal Avenues for Mitigating the Impact

Even with a felony conviction, there are legal steps you can take to lighten the load. These options won't erase the past but can help open up the future. It's about knowing what's available and taking action.

Expungement and Record Sealing in California

In California, expungement can offer a fresh start. It doesn't completely erase your record, but it can show that you've served your time and moved on. Record sealing is another option, making your record less visible to the public eye.

Both legal processes have requirements and limitations, but they're worth exploring if you want to leave the past behind. It's a step toward not letting a felony conviction define the rest of your life.

Pardon and Certificate of Rehabilitation

A pardon is one of the highest forms of forgiveness from the state. It can restore rights and signify that you've turned your life around. A Certificate of Rehabilitation is another step you can take. It's not a pardon but a statement from the court that you've rehabilitated.

These options are not easy to achieve but are powerful symbols of change. They require effort, patience, and a clean record since your conviction. But for many, they're a goal worth pursuing.

How Perlman & Cohen Can Help

  • Expert legal advice: Our experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through the complex legal landscape, explaining your options and the best steps.
  • Expungement assistance: We can help you understand if you're eligible for expungement or record sealing in California and represent you through the process.
  • Fighting for your rights: We're dedicated to helping you regain your civil rights, including voting and owning a firearm.
  • Navigating professional restrictions: Our team can advise you on pursuing career opportunities or further education despite your conviction.
  • Personalized support: Every case is unique, and we're here to provide personalized support tailored to your situation and goals.

Let Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Help You Rebuild Your Life After a Felony Conviction

Let Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers help you rebuild your life after a felony conviction

Rebuilding your life after a felony conviction is a journey. It's about facing challenges head-on and finding ways to move forward. At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we believe in second chances. We're here to help you navigate the legal system and explore every option to mitigate the impact of your conviction. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.

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