Once a judge or jury convicts you of a crime, it remains on your permanent record. While it’s possible to petition to court to potentially have some charges expunged, there’s no guarantee that a judge will approve such a request.
Any conviction on your record for either a drug-related crime or any other offense is likely to stay with you forever. If the thought of someone performing a background check and discovering that you have a conviction on your record doesn’t bother you, it should. Employers, apartment managers and professional licensing boards are just some of the many entities that perform background checks on individuals. The burdens that you may have to carry because you have a record are known as collateral consequences.
What are some collateral consequences convicted felons face?
The American Bar Association maintains a list of as many as 46,000 collateral consequences that those convicted of crimes face. At least 70% affect employment.
Individuals who have criminal records may not be able to secure professional licenses to work in certain fields requiring them. A criminal record may prevent a person from taking on certain law enforcement and other governmental roles. Many jurisdictions allow employers to request that employees submit to background checks and use that information as part of their decision as to whether to hire them or not.
Those convicted on drug charges face a whole other set of collateral consequences. One of those is that their conviction may affect their ability to receive student financial aid.
There are instances in which parents who are convicted of crimes, and more specifically drug-related offenses, lose custody of their kids. Judges often do this to ensure that a child doesn’t face neglect, isn’t surrounded by people who could harm them and otherwise remains safe.
The collateral consequences described above are only some of the many implications associated with having a criminal conviction on your record. You’ll want to present a strong defense in your drug-related case if you want to avoid these and other consequences.