Collateral Consequences of a NC Criminal Conviction
When charged with a crime, most people tend to focus on whether they will go to jail or be required to pay heavy fines. They overlook the collateral consequences they might face if they are convicted. Even after you’ve served your sentence or paid the other penalties, these collateral consequences can impact your life for years to come.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we understand that the consequences of an NC criminal conviction can extend far beyond jail and fines. That’s why our Charlotte criminal defense attorneys provide our clients with determined, aggressive legal representation. We work to make sure you always understand your options, and we fight to get the best possible outcome in your case.
What Might Happen After a Criminal Conviction in North Carolina?
Beyond the statutory penalties of a misdemeanor or felony conviction, you might face the following upon being found guilty of a criminal offense in NC:
Sex Offender Registration
If you’ve been charged with a sex offense, one of the biggest collateral consequences you might face upon conviction is registering as a sex offender. Whether you have to do so depends on the crime you have been charged with, but it’s important to understand that you may have to register for life. In addition, the sex offender registry is public and widely available, so your friends, family, and neighbors will be able to find your charges.
Second Amendment Rights
You will lose your right to own a gun if you are convicted of any felony in North Carolina. This includes non-violent crimes of this level. However, you may be able to get your right to own a firearm restored if your offense considered non-violent, but it will require an expungement or a court order.
Your Right to Vote
You will lose the right to vote while in prison or on probation for a felony conviction. The good news is that your right to vote will be automatically restored once you have completed your sentence.
A felony conviction could limit your access to certain federal benefits, including:
- Student loans
- Public housing
- Public assistance benefits
The impact on your access to federal benefits will depend on your offense and criminal history. You may need a lawyer or social worker to help you navigate the system.
A criminal conviction will become a part of your permanent record. Your criminal record will be available to the public, which includes potential employers. As a result, you may find it difficult to find a job, since most employers conduct some kind of background check before hiring personnel.
If you hold a professional license, being convicted will probably result in the suspension or revocation of your license. Licensing boards have broad authority to take disciplinary action when their members are convicted of a crime, even if the offense has no bearing on their professional lives.
If you are a non-citizen, being convicted of a crime can cause problems with your immigration status. You could face deportation even if you are a legal resident, and the conviction is for a minor or non-violent offense.
Are You Worried About an NC Criminal Conviction?
The consequences of a criminal conviction extend far beyond jail time and fines. If you’ve been charged with an offense, don’t assume that it will just work itself out – you need to actively fight the charges in order to protect your rights and your future. The Charlotte criminal defense lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC can help you get a fair result.