Being charged with a felony can be tough. You made a mistake and will now have to carry the label of a felon for life. Having a felony on your record can take away many rights that you may take for granted on a daily basis. Knowing what you are facing with a felony charge may not make it any less challenging, but it can prepare you for what you can expect going forward.
Jail or Prison Time
Most felony charges carry a stiff penalty. You may have to spend time in jail or prison. While these penalties are meant to punish a person for their crimes, it can be devastating to friends and family to have you behind bars. Not only will you have to serve time, but your felony charge will continue to follow you for life. You will always have a felony on your record, which may come to haunt you more times than you would like to consider.
As an American, you have a right to bear arms, unless you have a felony charge on your record. Because gun owners go through a background check before purchasing a firearm, your criminal record will be closely examined. If you have a felony charge as part of your background, you will be denied the right to own a firearm of any kind.
Felons also have their voting rights stripped away. You cannot vote with a felony charge on your record and will not be able to influence the government with your vote. While voting may not seem like a strong right to lose, it can be very impactful to sway the legislation in your favor. You will not have any say in what happens in your community and will never get your voting rights back with a felony criminal charge.
A felony charge can also affect your ability to gain employment. Many companies perform a background check before hiring a potential job candidate, and with a felony charge, you may be automatically eliminated from the hiring process. A felony can also affect your ability to get a higher paying job just because of the background check that is performed by a company that you are looking to gain employment from.
Many landlords also perform background checks on their tenants. A felony could prevent you from securing desirable housing. A landlord may deny your housing because of your criminal history, forcing you to live somewhere that is not your first choice. A felony charge will follow you, and prevent you from having the basic rights that most Americans enjoy on a daily basis.
Colleges can also deny a person with a felony on their record from enrolling in their school. Because many schools want to ensure that their students are safe and protected, they may prevent you from attending their school based on your criminal history. This can prevent you from getting an education to better yourself and will limit your opportunities in life.
Felony charges can also cause deportation if you are not native to the U.S. The authorities will revoke your right to be an American if you receive a felony charge. They may send you back to your home country and prevent you from coming back to America with a criminal record that includes a felony.
Loss of Family and Friends
While it may not seem as tangible as losing some of your other American rights, felonies can tear friends and families apart. Some people do not want to associate with a felon and may instantly have a poor impression of you because of your criminal past. Your reputation will be tarnished, and you may suffer the consequences of losing friends or family members because of your felony charge.
When you are charged with a felony, your best option is to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer. They can work to have your felony charges reduced and prevent you from receiving the maximum sentence in your case.
Having a felony on your record can be devastating. It can take away your American rights and prevent you from living a life that is free of your criminal past even after you have served your time. When you work with a criminal defense attorney, you will have the best outcome in your case as they will fight for your legal rights.
Preserving your rights in a criminal case can help you avoid severe penalties that will follow you for life. Felonies can cloud your life and take away your rights in an instant. Let your criminal defense lawyer help you with a felony charge. They know the legalities of these criminal charges and will work to build a case that prevents you from losing your rights as an American.