A criminal conviction leads to more consequences than the punishment issued by the courts. Instead of serving time or paying a penalty and being able to move on, being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor can make it harder to get work, to find a home and to participate in other social activities.
What can you do to prevent these kinds of consequences? The best thing is to prevent yourself from getting a felony at all with the use of a good defense, but in the case that you do have one, knowing how it may affect you can help you mitigate the effects.
Collateral consequences are those that result from the penalty but are not directly penalties. For instance, if you have been convicted of a felony and are serving a sentence in prison or are on parole or probation, you will not be able to vote. When you complete your sentence, then you can vote again.
If you’ve been penalized with a misdemeanor with over two years in prison, have been convicted of a felony or have been involved in a violent crime, then you will be prohibited from possessing a firearm. The kinds you may not have include all regulated firearms, which includes handguns and assault weapons.
If you have been convicted of a felony involving theft or moral turpitude, you will not be able to work as a personal care aide or respite care worker. No other jobs are banned, but it’s important to realize that you may not be issued licenses or could have a license revoked if you have a felony on your record.
Source: State of Maryland, “Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction,” accessed Nov. 05, 2015