Randall & Stump, PLLC

Drug convictions come with serious collateral consequences

Drug convictions are sometimes thought of as minor blips on a criminal record, but this is far from the truth. These convictions can actually impact you for the rest of your life, even if the conviction is a misdemeanor. You are going to have to deal with court-imposed penalties for the conviction. The consequences that go beyond those court-imposed ones are known as collateral consequences.

A collateral consequence isn't likely to end once you have completed the sentence the court handed out. The collateral consequences might impact every aspect of your life. Here are some points to know about these consequences of a drug conviction:

Very little difference in misdemeanor and felony convictions

In the court system, there are very specific differences between felony convictions and misdemeanors. When it comes to collateral consequences, the differences aren't as stark. Even though you aren't going to be labeled as a felon if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you might still face some of the same collateral consequences as a felon.

Impacts on your career path

Your career path can be impacted by a criminal conviction. Around one-third of the adult population has a mark on their criminal record. Each of these individuals could face challenges when it comes to finding and keeping a job. In the case of a drug conviction, you might not be able to work in a pharmacy because of the controlled substances they handle. In addition to situations like the example, many employers have restrictions on what type of criminal history, if any at all, is acceptable for a position in the company.

Effects on your family life

A drug charge can trigger several effects on your family life. One of these is that you will face a bar on adopting a child. This is mandated on a federal level; however, the federal law only requires a five-year ban in the case of felony drug conviction. North Carolina doesn't have a lifetime ban on people with a drug conviction adopting a child, so a conviction might mean that you just have to put off this plan for a bit.

Your family life can also be impacted by changes to the availability of housing. Some people with drug convictions are ineligible to obtain housing assistance. Your ability to get a loan for housing can also be effected. Add in the financial challenges that come with a criminal conviction and you might be facing even more difficulties with housing and life in general.

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