Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
Updated: Apr 13
By Clayton T. Robertson (Criminal Defense Attorney)
One of the most important -- though unfortunately often undiscussed -- aspects of a criminal conviction are the "collateral consequences" of a conviction (or, in some circumstances, an arrest). These consequences include the potential impact of a conviction on employment rights, volunteering rights, housing and property rights, government and public benefits, occupational and professional licensure, business licensure, family and domestic rights, government grants and loans (including student loans), immigration and naturalization status, firearm rights, driving rights, judicial rights, voting rights, and many other categories.
While it would be impossible to discuss the specific details of this very important topic in a blog post as it relates to all of the above categories, I suggest -- as only an initial step before speaking with an attorney -- a person reviews the following sites to get a better feel for what potentially is involved when you suffer a criminal conviction. The impact on your life might also depend on whether it is a misdemeanor or felony conviction and the particular offenses involved, among other factors. Of course, it may also depend on the jurisdiction in which you've been charged. I am including these resources below because when you meet with an attorney it makes for a more productive conversation about how your case might eventually affect other areas of your life, but you shouldn't rely exclusively upon these sites.
This post does not address the separate issue of "expungements" and how to "remove" or "seal" a criminal conviction from your record, or the specific disclosures you may need to provide when you have suffered a criminal conviction or have been accused of a criminal offense. Again, these are all potentially complicated topics depending on your specific case and situation. Like the collateral consequences issue, you should speak with an attorney for further information.
The first of these sites is a California site. The remaining two are national sites, but they have links that branch off to California information and resources.
This blog is brought to you by Clayton T. Robertson, who is responsible for its content. Law Office of Clayton T. Robertson, 1300 Clay Street, Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612 (RobertsonLitigation.com). The article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to provide legal advice or offer legal services (or convey or guarantee a legal result). It is a communication offered only as an informational courtesy and conveys only the opinions of its author.