A felony conviction can have a deep impact on people. Even after people fulfill a prison sentence, they may experience additional consequences.
A criminal conviction is often accompanied by collateral consequences. The State of Maryland defines collateral consequences as the penalties people experience because of their conviction. These are separate from the direct consequences a person could have. Direct consequences include a prison sentence or fines that people have to pay. A court usually orders these as part of a person’s sentence. However, collateral consequences occur because a conviction can cause people to lose opportunities and resources once they are out of prison.
How do collateral consequences affect employment?
People may lose the occupational license they need to practice their business. A conviction could make professionals ineligible to continue their practice. In some situations, people may need to reapply for their occupational license. A professional licensing board may perform a background check. Sometimes, they may deny a license if they see that someone has a criminal conviction. This could make it necessary for people to seek other forms of employment.
How do collateral consequences affect housing?
People may also lose their access to housing after a conviction. According to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, landlords may run a background check on their tenants. When they see a criminal conviction on someone’s record, landlords may refuse to rent an apartment or a house. Additionally, a conviction may make some people ineligible for subsidized housing programs.
Sometimes, there may be situations that could potentially change the outcome of the trial. People may learn about new evidence, for example. In these circumstances, people may want to consider all their options.