Collateral Consequences

You could face one or more criminal penalties when you are convicted of a crime in San Diego. Criminal penalties can include, but are not limited to, jail/prison, fines, restitution, mandatory counseling programs, and probation. However, the punishments you receive from the court are not the only consequences of a criminal conviction.

Individuals often face collateral consequences they might not have anticipated when they pled guilty to a crime or were convicted by the court. For instance, civil penalties may be imposed by state or federal law. Other collateral consequences occur because of how the convicted person is perceived in specific situations.

Unfortunately, collateral consequences can follow you for the rest of your life. They might last much longer than the punishment the judge issues for a criminal conviction and impact numerous aspects of your life. 

Examples of Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in California

Examples of Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in California

The collateral consequences you face might not be the same as those of another person convicted of the same crime. Each situation is unique. Therefore, not all of the collateral consequences below will impact your situation.

Collateral consequences of a criminal conviction include difficulties and barriers involving:

  • Securing employment
  • Voting
  • Owning a firearm
  • Serving on a jury
  • Obtaining a driver’s license
  • Holding public office
  • Qualifying for military service
  • Obtaining housing 
  • Loss of a professional license and/or not qualifying for a professional license
  • Issues with immigration, including deportation 
  • Obtaining financial aid for college
  • Traveling to other countries
  • Registering as a sex offender
  • Qualifying for college admission
  • Receiving public assistance
  • Damage to your personal and professional reputations
  • Seeking custody and/or parenting rights and visitation 
  • A spouse or partner leaving and/or seeking a divorce 

The above consequences are just some of the matters you might face if you have a criminal history. Some rights and privileges could be restored, but others might be lost forever. You can review a list of collateral consequences for California criminal convictions here

Why Should I Worry About Collateral Consequences in a California Criminal Case?

Understanding the potential collateral consequences that might apply to you is crucial. You need all the facts to decide whether to accept a plea deal or take your case to court. 

In some cases, an experienced San Diego criminal defense might negotiate a plea deal that reduces the criminal charges to a lesser charge. Depending on the situation, the lesser charge could have few collateral consequences. Therefore, the risk of going to court and being found guilty might not be worth it in light of the plea deal being offered.

Another reason to understand the potential collateral consequences of a criminal conviction is to know how severe the consequences might be for your future. Sometimes, the collateral consequences could be worse than the criminal penalties. For instance, a truck driver convicted of DUI could lose their commercial license for their lifetime, preventing them from ever driving a truck again.

How Can You Avoid Collateral Consequences for a California Criminal Conviction?

The best way to avoid collateral consequences is to avoid a criminal conviction. That begins with hiring an experienced, aggressive San Diego criminal defense lawyer

An attorney investigates the criminal charges against you. They obtain the evidence the state has against you and analyze it to determine the best strategy to use in your defense. Depending on the facts of the case, you might have affirmative defenses you can raise, including violations of your civil rights. 

Do not talk to police officers or prosecutors without an attorney present. Do not discuss your case on social media. Even if you are found innocent, future employers or other parties might discover the information you posted about being arrested and charged with a crime.

Speak with a San Diego expungement lawyer to discuss whether your criminal conviction can be expunged from your record. Many individuals qualify for expungement.

Ask your lawyer for a list of do’s and don’ts after an arrest and conviction in San Diego. Your actions and behavior can significantly improve your chances of obtaining an early release. 

Finally, do not play jailhouse lawyer. You will receive advice from inmates, family members, and friends. You should never act upon the advice without talking to your attorney first. 

If you are arrested in California, exercise your right to remain silent except for asking for your lawyer. They cannot take your Fifth Amendment rights away. 

Try to remain calm and say nothing until you talk with your lawyer. What you do and say after an arrest can impact the outcome of your criminal case. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have additional questions about the consequences of a criminal conviction, contact our law firm to discuss your concerns with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. We will also explain your legal rights and options for defending yourself against criminal charges. The best way to protect yourself is to hire a defense lawyer to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.