A Look at Collateral Consequences in a Criminal Case
Collateral Consequences to a Criminal Charge
Everyone knows when you are charged with a criminal case you could face jail time, probation and a fine. However, many times the possible consequences someone suffers can be far reaching and make resolving the case much more complicated. When discussing your case with your attorney you need to make sure you consider how a case might affect you in other ways.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and get charged with a crime the consequences can be very significant for you. If you are here illegally, on a work visa, a student visa, or some other legal temporary status; a criminal conviction can result in the federal government issue an immigration hold and starting deportation proceedings. How and when the immigration authorities will seek deportation for a criminal charge is a moving target. The current presidential administration can make its own rules on how and when to deport to some degree. Therefore, it is important that your criminal defense attorney works closely with your immigration attorney to make sure the result in your criminal case does not lead to your deportation.
Driver’s License Issues
A number of criminal charges can implicate your ability to drive your car. Whether it is a drunk driving charge, a traffic ticket, a driving while suspended or operating a vehicle while a habitual offender; how the case is handled can have long term consequences for your driver’s license. It is important that your attorney evaluate not only how the specific conviction will work as a suspension but also evaluate whether it will result in an administrative suspension with the BMV based on the total number of points accumulated. Additionally, you should let your attorney know if you must drive a company vehicle for work. In those instances, sometimes the company’s insurance carrier will have specific requirements on what you can and cannot have on your driving record to drive a company vehicle. Lastly, if you have a CDL then the implications for you are elevated as they federal regulations governing the CDL can result in much harsher consequences then the initial suspension would call for.
Work Related Issues
Some companies and governmental agencies regularly conduct and/or update criminal background checks on a regular basis. Some companies carry “morality” clauses in their employee manuals that require employees to avoid criminal behavior. Lastly some trade associations or agencies require background checks to maintain association with their organization. In all of these scenarios you need to discuss this issue with your attorney so you can investigate what result with have the least impact on your employment.
Professional Licensing Issues
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, engineer, lawyer, accountant, physical therapist, dentist or any other professional that is subject to a licensing board you must always consider how your case may implicate your license. What these boards will or will not consider and what punishment they will impose varies widely. The members of these licensing boards are many times political appointments and therefore how they look at convictions and what they think is a fair punishment can change by the appointment. If you are subject to a professional license you and your attorney need to discuss this. Many times, working the case out to the best possible result is all you can do and then working with the licensing board to avoid consequences is a stage you have to deal with next.
Right to Carry a Firearm
The right to carry a firearm is protected by the U.S. constitution. However, when you are facing a criminal charge your right to carry a firearm maybe taken away either permanently or temporarily. Additionally, many times it is a condition of probation that you cannot carry or possess a firearm. If you are a gun owner or need to carry a weapon for your work, you will want to discuss with your attorney the consequences of your case on your ability to carry a firearm.
Future Job Ramifications
Maybe your current employer does not care if you receive a criminal conviction. If that’s the case, great. However, you should always be aware that if you have a conviction that can affect your ability to compete in the job market in the future. Many companies conduct criminal background checks and will not hire someone that has a criminal history. When discussing your case with your attorney you should also make sure when and/if your case will be able to be expunged in the future.
Special Considerations with Sex Crimes
Many sex crimes convictions carry tremendous amount of collateral consequences. If you are required to register as a sex offender that will affect where you can live, where you can work, and where you can go. This can include limiting how close you can live to a school, park or daycare. Additionally, your picture name and address may appear on a public website identifying you as a sex offender. If you have kids you may be limited in the contact you can have with them and likely won’t be able to attend their school activities or events. There are many considerations that must be accounted for when working through a sex crimes case and should be thoroughly discussed with your attorney.
In conclusion, it is always important for you and your attorney to discuss all the ways your criminal case can affect your life. The attorneys at Banks & Brower will work with you to address your case and all its consequences. We are available to discuss your case 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling (317) 870-0019 and then selecting the talk to a criminal attorney now option from the menu.