If you have a felony on your record, you may know there will be consequences. However, you may not expect these consequences to impact every aspect of your life once you are back in society.
Many felony convictions carry collateral consequences. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, collateral consequences are penalties you experience because you have a felony conviction on your record.
Are there different types of collateral consequences?
You may experience these consequences in different ways. Some repercussions occur because of your conviction. You may be unable to get a job working with children, for example, if your offense involved children. However, other ramifications are not related to your offense. These include your access to housing and employment and are side effects of a felony.
Can you get public benefits?
You may not be able to access the resources you need to help you get back on your feet. Certain types of offenses, such as felony drug convictions, may disqualify you from receiving public aid. These benefits include food stamps and financial assistance. Additionally, it may be more difficult to access Social Security benefits. If you received these benefits before your conviction, you may need to reapply.
Sometimes you may need to attend postsecondary education to help you find better job opportunities. A conviction related to drugs may keep you from receiving federal aid. This includes both work assistance and federal loans.
Can you perform civic duties?
A felony conviction can keep you from serving as a juror. You may be ineligible until you complete your parole or you may experience a lifetime ban. While each state sets its own laws concerning jury duty, federal law bans you from serving as a jury in a federal court.
You may sometimes need professional help to help you navigate the collateral consequences.