Even if you do not have to serve any jail time, having a felony conviction is not something you should take lightly. If you were convicted of a felony, your life will change in many ways and you may not have the privileges you once had. It is important to be aware of how much a felony conviction will affect your life. Here are five consequences of having a felony on your record:
You Will Have More Trouble Getting a Job
If you have a felony on your record, your job opportunities will dramatically decrease. Many employers have very little trust for felons and do not want them representing their company. These hiring managers know there are many other applicants with clean records and feel more comfortable hiring them. You will be even less likely to get a job if you apply for a position that relates to your conviction. For example, if you were convicted of drug possession, there is a slim chance you will get a job as a pharmacy technician. No matter what job you apply for, always be honest about your felony conviction. If the employer finds out that you lied, you will definitely not get hired.
You May Lose Voting Privileges
If you are convicted of a felony, you will likely lose your voting privileges at least until you've been released from prison or finished your probation or parole. The type of crime committed, state and other factors can have an effect on getting your voting privileges reinstated. For example, if you live in Alaska, you can vote after you have finished your prison term, parole, or probation.
You Will Have Fewer Rental Properties to Choose From
Once you are convicted of a felony, you will not have as many renting options. Private landlords and realty companies tend to be weary of felons and will not feel comfortable with you living at their property. They may think that you will bring trouble to the apartment complex and endanger the other tenants. This means you may have to resort to asking family members to let you live at their place. If you still want to try to rent an apartment, tell the landlord the truth about your conviction and how you have changed for the better. If the landlord thinks you are sincere and truly changed your ways, he may feel better about renting an apartment to you.
You May Not Be Able to Own a Gun
It is illegal for felons to have a gun in their home or carry it with them. However, if you were convicted of a nonviolent felony, it is possible to get your civil rights restored. If you can prove to the courts that you have changed your life for the better, you will have a better chance of getting your firearm privileges restored. For instance, you could show the courts that you have found a steady job.
It Will Be More Difficult to Travel to Other Countries
Although it's not impossible, traveling to foreign countries will be more challenging if you have a felony on your record. Some countries, including England, may not let you in if you are a convicted felon, according to VIP Passports, Inc. It will also be more difficult to go to other countries if you were convicted of drug trafficking. However, do not be afraid to apply for a passport. You could still be approved and have the chance to experience other cultures.
As you can see, a felony conviction on your record is a big deal. You will not have as many opportunities as citizens with clean records. However, a felony does not have to necessarily stay on your record forever. If you have successfully completed your probation, you should talk to an experienced criminal lawyer about getting your record sealed.
For more information, contact a company like Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP.