Collateral consequences of a California felony conviction

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Felony convictions in California can lead to collateral consequences beyond the immediate legal penalties. These consequences can impact various aspects of an individual’s life.

Despite completing their sentences, those with felony convictions may continue to face barriers and stigma that hinder their ability to move forward.

Employment challenges

A primary consequence of a felony conviction is the difficulty in obtaining employment. Many employers conduct background checks. A felony record may disqualify people from certain job opportunities. Some professions and industries also have specific regulations prohibiting those with felonies from obtaining licensure or certification. This can further limit career options.

Housing restrictions

Felony convictions can also pose challenges in finding suitable housing. Landlords and property management companies often conduct background checks on prospective tenants. A felony record may result in rental denials or restrictions. This can lead to housing instability. It can also lead to difficulty securing safe and affordable housing.

Loss of civil rights

Those convicted of a felony may lose specific civil rights. For example, they may lose the right to vote or serve on a jury. Some of these rights may return upon completion of a sentence or probation. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming. Felony convictions can also impact immigration status and may result in deportation or other immigration consequences for non-citizens.

Social stigma and reintegration challenges

Beyond the tangible consequences, felony convictions can also carry a social stigma. This stigma can lead to feelings of shame, isolation and difficulty reintegrating into society after serving a sentence. It can also perpetuate cycles of poverty and involvement in the criminal justice system.

Addressing these collateral consequences requires comprehensive efforts to support people with felony convictions and promote equity and fairness in the criminal justice system.