When you think about the consequences of a criminal conviction, you probably think about jail, fines, loss of driving privileges, probation, alcohol or drug programs, community service, and ignition interlock devices. If so, you are correct. These punishments are just a few of the potential consequences of being convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania. However, these are not the only consequences of a criminal conviction.
Many of the consequences of a conviction are not imposed by the court. Some consequences are simply collateral consequences that result from being convicted of a crime. Unfortunately, some of these consequences can impact your life for a long time.
Potential Consequences You May Face
- Limitations on where you can live. Depending on the crime, the court could impose limitations on where you can live. For example, for an assault charge, you could be required to keep a certain distance from the victim. In the case of a sex crime, you might be restricted from living within a certain distance from schools, parks, and other places where children gather.
- Loss of your right to possess a firearm. When you are convicted of a felony or some other crimes, you are not permitted to possess or own a firearm.
- Inability to obtain a professional license. Some crimes prevent you from being eligible for some professional licenses.
- Loss of child custody. Certain criminal convictions could cost you the custody of your child or limit your visitation with your child.
- Losing government assistance. Some government assistance programs could end, or you may not qualify for a program if you have a criminal conviction.
- Difficulty getting into college. Being convicted of a crime could impact your ability to further your education by limiting your choice of schools or qualifying for tuition assistance.
- Qualifying for a loan. A criminal record could also make it difficult to qualify for a loan to purchase a home, go to school, or purchase a vehicle.
Loss of Reputation
One of the biggest consequences of a criminal conviction is the loss of your reputation. A criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life. One mistake or poor decision can have far-reaching consequences that impact your ability to live the life you intended for yourself. Instead of risking your future, you need to fight the criminal charge by hiring an experienced Erie criminal defense attorney.
Fighting a Criminal Charge in Pennsylvania
When you are arrested, you need to exercise all your legal rights, including remaining silent and consulting with an attorney. Before you answer any questions for police officers, investigators, or prosecutors, you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. You are not guilty until a prosecutor convinces a judge or jury that you committed the crime. Therefore, do not give up any of your legal rights by accepting a plea bargain or answering questions until you have met with an attorney.
Hire an Erie Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a criminal charge, we want to help. Our criminal attorney can help you develop a strong defense to the criminal charge. In cases where you want to accept a plea deal, we can help you negotiate the best terms possible for your deal.