What Are the Collateral Consequences of Felony Convictions?

In Minnesota, there may be multiple collateral consequences of felony convictions that can continue on long after the sentences are discharged. It is important to understand the collateral consequences that are provided under the law and how they might be addressed. Certain consequences may lead to additional criminal cases if they are not followed by the individuals on whom they are imposed. In addition to the legal consequences of felony convictions, there may be other consequences that occur simply because a person has a felony record in employment, housing, credit and others. A felony lawyer may help clients to understand the collateral consequences of felony convictions and may work to help them to obtain expungements if they are eligible for them.

Collateral Consequences Imposed by the Law

When a Minnesotan is convicted of a felony, there are multiple collateral consequences that may be imposed under the law in addition to the sentence that is imposed. Minnesotans who are convicted of felonies are prohibited from possessing guns. They are also ineligible to vote. If they have professional licenses such as law licenses or accountant licenses, those licenses will be suspended. Convicted felons also are prohibited from serving on juries or from serving as legal interpreters. They are also ineligible to serve in the state legislature, and if they are currently serving as legislators, they will be removed from their positions. Felony convictions also make those who are convicted ineligible to receive state contracts, and assessors will have their licenses revoked upon being convicted of felonies. There are many other potential collateral consequences that are codified in the laws of the state. A felony lawyer might advise clients about the potential consequences when the clients are considering whether or not to accept plea offers.

Other Collateral Consequences

In addition to the legal collateral consequences under the law, there are other issues that come with felony convictions. Those who are convicted often have trouble finding employment. They may also have trouble finding housing and may be ineligible for public housing and other benefits. Convicted felons may have trouble obtaining credit. If the felony conviction is for drug crimes, the convicted felon may not be able to secure federal student loans to pay for college.

Felony convictions may have far-reaching and lasting consequences long after a sentence has been discharged. A felony lawyer may work to obtain pleas to lesser charges and to assist eligible clients with seeking expungement of old convictions.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.