A felony can have a significant impact on your future. When a police officer arrests you (no matter what you did) remember to remain silent. You don’t have to explain anything or answer any questions about the crime. Don’t forget that you have the right to contact a criminal defense attorney. Do this as soon as possible, so your lawyer can take your case and start preparing your defense and advise you what to say and how to act in the further process.
When you remain silent, there is no risk to say anything that could be used against you in the further process. This is why a strong legal representative is crucial in such cases. If you were recently arrested make sure to contact a New Mexico criminal defense lawyer.
A Felony Conviction Follows You Forever
When committing a felony, it won’t be done only with paying a fine, spending a short time in jail, and be done with that. Things don’t go that simple. No matter if you confess and plead guilty, or a court convicts you of the felony, the conviction will follow you for as long as you live. The ugly truth is that it will affect everything you do.
Any felony will remain on your record and when seeking a new job and your potential employer will do research on you they will see the felony. Although some jobs (depending on how severe the felony was) won’t consider the felony to be that serious to affect you working for them, some jobs will forever be off your list. You won’t be able to work as a childcare worker or as a school bus driver.
If you have a professional license for work (doctor, dentist, pharmacist) the family may affect you to lose your license.
Housing and Public Housing
When you commit a felony, finding a new home may be exceptionally difficult. Landlords may dismiss you or refuse to rent you a place. But even if the landlord decides to rent the place to you, the neighbors in the public housing may affect their decision. The other tenants may feel uncomfortable having a neighbor who has committed a felony in the past. But, on the other hand, you may be evicted from your current place once the landlord learns about your felony. Suddenly you may become homeless and unable to get a new place and this can be a real challenge.
Your Privacy Will be Affected
Being convicted of a certain sexual crime will comply with “Megan’s Law”. The person who committed the crime must be registered as a sex offender, update their address whenever they move, and provide their DNA sample. The sex offender registry is public and available for everyone.
If you have committed a sex crime felony, you can forget about your privacy. Once people learn about what you did, things won’t be very nice – the felony will affect your personal life, your privacy, ability to find a job and home.
Convicted felons aren’t eligible for higher education loans and grants, housing assistance, food stamps, and other federal benefits. These restrictions aren’t tied to all crimes, but if you have committed a crime with controlled substances, then you can’t expect to get federal assistance afterward.
Civic Rights and Responsibilities
Felons lose their right to carry or own a gun. They can’t run for office, vote, or serve on a jury. You can seek restoration of these rights but only if you can successfully erase the felony from your criminal record (you’ll have to meet other criteria as well).
Not everyone commits a felony because they are a bad person. However, no matter how the felon happened, your life will never be the same again. Although many people claim that they will never do such a thing (shoot, kill another person while drunk driving, selling or buying drugs, etc.) you can’t predict life. Don’t forget that not all felonies will stop you from finding a new job or losing your current one (including losing the professional license).
What’s important in such cases is that you go to court with a skilled criminal defense attorney who has a history of similar cases like yours. Felonies aren’t a joke and you can’t just go in court by yourself, trying to prove your innocence. Our team at FBD Law is here to review your case and represent you in court. If you have any questions, schedule your first consultation or contact us as soon as you get arrested.