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What are the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction?

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    I see far too many people plead guilty without considering all the consequences.  It may seem like you’re getting a good deal when you don’t have to go to prison, but a conviction can leave a mark on your life long after your case is over.  This is why it’s important to find a criminal attorney who will fight for you every step of the way.

 

    Here are some of the things that can be affected by a criminal conviction:

 

Voting Rights

    Those who are convicted of “crimes involving moral turpitude” are not eligible to vote in Alabama.  Like the context of immigration, the definition “moral turpitude” can be confusing and amorphous, but most felonies qualify.

 

Professional Licenses / Employment

    A felony conviction can mean you’re not eligible for a professional license or certain forms of employment, such as law enforcement.  You will also have to report your conviction on job applications in the future.

 

Federal Benefits

     A drug offense can mean that you are not eligible for federal student loans or food stamps. 

 

Driver’s License

    Your driver’s license can be suspended for a trafficking or drug distribution conviction.[1]  More drug crimes used to result in suspension of a driver’s license, but the Alabama legislature changed this effective January 30, 2016.

DUI convictions, along with some serious traffic crimes, also result in revocation of your driver’s license.[2]

 

Right to Own a Gun

     A conviction for a violent crime disqualifies you from owning a pistol under Alabama law, and possessing one when you’re prohibited from doing it is a crime itself.[3]  A violent crime can include anything from a homicide to some less-obvious crimes such as escape.

 

    A conviction for domestic violence, even if it’s a misdemeanor, or being subject to a domestic abuse protection order, also disqualifies you from owning a gun under Alabama law.

 

    Conviction of a felony also means you can’t own a gun or ammunition under federal law, and, like in state law, possessing one when you’re disqualified is a crime.[4]  People convicted of domestic violence and those addicted to drugs are also not allowed to have a gun under federal law.

 

Buying Sudafed

   A conviction for most drug offenses, including possession of drug paraphernalia, can put you on a list preventing you from buying Sudafed and other decongestants.  Find out more here.

 

Immigration Status

   If you’re not a citizen, a criminal conviction can cause you to be deported, even if you’re here legally.  This means it’s critical to hire an attorney who understands both criminal law and immigration law.  Find out more here.

 

 

    Even if pleading guilty doesn’t mean you’re going to prison, it’s critical that you understand the possible consequences of a criminal conviction.  Contact an experienced criminal lawyer and ensure you’re getting the whole picture.  Contact me here.

 

 

 

[1] Ala. Code 13A-12-291.

 

[2] Ala. Code 32-5A-191.

 

[3] Ala. Code 13A-11-72

 

[4] 18 U.S.C. 922(g).

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