How a Sex Crime Conviction Can Affect Your Future in North Carolina
Being found guilty of a sex crime can bring severe criminal penalties such as jail time and fines. However, the consequences of a conviction can have far-reaching impacts — some of which you might not even consider. Learn more about how a sex crime conviction can affect your future and ways to minimize the potential of the harshest consequences.
What Can Happen After a Sex Crime Conviction?
A sex crime conviction might affect many areas of your life, such as:
Sex Offender Registration
Certain sex crimes require those convicted to list themselves on the state sex offender registry. The amount of time you have to remain registered depends on the offense for which you were convicted— the most severe offenses require lifetime registration.
The sex offender registry is public record. Information about the offense you committed, your photo, and address are available for anyone to search, view, and share.
Barriers to Finding Employment and Housing
Since the sex offender registry is public, any prospective employer or landlord who runs a background check on you will find the details of your conviction. This can make finding steady work or housing a challenge.
If you hold a professional license, it may be suspended or revoked if you are convicted of a sex crime, adding to employment difficulties. Licensing boards typically have the authority to take discipline as they see fit, even for misdemeanor offenses.
Immigrants convicted of sex crimes may find their status and residency in jeopardy. Immigrants can face deportation, even if they are legal permanent residents. And even if deportation is avoided, convicts can be barred from becoming citizens later.
Financial Consequences and Loss of Federal Benefits
Being convicted of a sex crime can have immense financial consequences, including the loss of access to federal benefits. You may be unable to access federal funding for student loans, public housing, and other public assistance programs.
You may also experience collateral financial consequences if you are unable to secure a job or find housing. For example, you may not be allowed to live within a certain radius of schools, parks, or other locations where children are. This can limit your options for housing even further and create a greater financial strain.
If you were convicted of a felony sex offense in North Carolina, you will lose the right to own a firearm. That right can be restored for some non-violent offenses if the conviction is expunged, however.
In addition to changes to your Second Amendment rights, you will also lose the right to vote while in prison or on probation for a felony conviction. But upon completion of your sentence, you will be able to vote again.
Other Personal Consequences
On top of all the other consequences you could deal with if convicted of a sex crime, among the most painful might be the damage to your personal life and reputation. You might experience strained relationships with friends, family, and professional connections. If you have children, you may be denied custody due to your status as a sex offender. The social fallout of a sex crime conviction can impact your standing in your family and community.
Facing Sex Crime Charges? Call Randall & Stump
Fighting for a dismissal or reduction of sex crime charges might mean the difference between keeping your rights and freedoms and having to register as a sex offender.
Don’t leave your future in the hands of a jury if you can help it. The Charlotte criminal defense lawyers at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys understand what is at stake and can help you advocate for the best outcome.