If you are currently facing felony charges, it has probably consumed your life. Talking with your lawyer, attending court dates, and following rules from the judge can take up all of your time and mental energy. You may be worried that if convicted, you will go to jail or face other types of punishment.

These are valid fears. However, if you are convicted, that probably won’t be the end of your worries. A felony conviction can have a significant impact on your life even after serving your time.

Your Freedom

The most obvious impact of a felony conviction is jail time. If you are convicted of a felony, you could get a sentence of at least one year in prison. Depending on the severity of the charge, you could face up to life in prison. You will lose your freedom during this period. However, you might also lose your freedom after release. 

Many people who are convicted of a felony are ordered to probation after their release. During your probationary period, you will be required to meet with a probation officer. You may also have to follow other conditions, such as:

  • A curfew
  • Taking drug tests
  • Finding employment
  • Participating in mental health or substance abuse treatment 
  • Avoiding certain locations 
  • Staying away from the victim in your case or co-defendants  
  • Securing stable housing 
  • Staying within the State of California

All of these rules can affect your daily freedoms. Simply because you aren’t in jail doesn’t mean you can do whatever you’d like. If you violate the terms of your probation, you may end up back in prison.

Your Criminal Record

Once you are convicted of a felony, you will have a criminal record. This record might follow you for the rest of your life. Anyone who wants to do a background check will see that you have a felony conviction. Depending on the type of conviction, this can have a big impact on your life.

Perhaps the larger impact of your criminal record is the three-strikes sentencing law in California. Under this rule, you can be sentenced to life in prison for a third felony conviction if you already have two on your record. However, only certain types of felonies count toward this law.

Your Finances

A felony can also have a significant impact on your personal and family finances. 

Depending on your charges and the length of your case, you probably have legal bills to pay. You might also have fines and fees to pay to the court. If you served jail time, you probably weren’t earning meaningful income during that time. That means that you lost time that you could have otherwise been earning money. 

Plus, many people aren’t aware that getting a felony conviction can impact your ability to get certain types of loans. A lender wants to know that you are trustworthy and capable of paying your debts. Depending on the type of charge, you might have to jump through extra hoops or get rejected altogether. 

Your Employment

A felony can make it very difficult to find a job. While certain industries are more likely than others to hire a convicted felon, they are few and far between. 

California has a law that prohibits an employer from asking about your criminal record when you apply for a job. However, they are not prohibited from running a background check after making a conditional offer of employment. 

While they can’t technically exclude you because of the conviction (in most cases), they can make an individualized assessment. During this assessment, they can consider if the conviction will impact your job, how much time has passed, and other factors. 

Certain industries are exempt from this rule. This includes jobs in criminal justice, healthcare facilities, and those that require a background check by law. 

To know exactly how your conviction will impact your life, talk to your defense attorney before pleading guilty. You deserve to be informed of the collateral consequences of your felony conviction. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you secure a more favorable outcome. 

For more information please contact the San Diego criminal defense attorneys at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers for a free consultation, give us a call at (619) 357-4977 or visit our convenient location:

Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers – San Diego Criminal Defense Law Firm
255 Broadway, Ste 1740. San Diego, CA. 92101