Getting convicted for a crime leads to numerous stressful consequences. You may serve time in state custody. You likely have to pay its fines and court costs. You will also have a criminal record for the rest of your life.
When the offense is a federal one, the impact of your conviction may be particularly long-lasting and difficult to overcome. What are some of the ways that a federal criminal conviction will affect your life after you have paid your debt to society?
Your criminal record will follow you everywhere
In some states, police will only have access to conviction and arrest records from within the state. Police in Ohio may not have information about a previous offense in Alaska. However, a federal criminal record will follow you everywhere and can even limit your opportunities even when you travel abroad in some cases.
Employers may see nothing but your criminal conviction
You may have an undergraduate degree and a decade of professional experience, but many employers have a hard time seeing past a federal criminal record. Most businesses look at criminal records when making hiring decisions these days, and many will automatically disqualify someone for any felony or federal offenses even if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation.
A criminal record could also result in losing your professional license. Even if no one reports your conviction to the state licensing board, they will likely learn about it when you apply to renew your license.
Other areas of your life will feel the impact as well
If the conviction is a significant one, it could affect other rights, like your right to own or purchase a firearm. Certain offenses could impact the custody outcome if you have children and get divorced.
Did you hope to go back to school and obtain a bachelor’s degree? You may have a harder time gaining admission to a school with a federal criminal record and an even harder time connecting with student aid. Housing, both for students and in the general population, may be harder to come by. Landlords will often screen tenants and refuse those with criminal convictions.