What consequences do I face outside of the justice system if I am convicted of a crime?

If you have been charged with a crime, a conviction could impact your life negatively in many ways. A felony conviction is more limiting than a misdemeanor conviction, but any crime on your record can be harmful. Here are a few of the ways that a conviction could haunt you long after you have completed what the court required of you:

  • Employment Opportunities: A job could be harder to come by after a conviction. In Maryland, employers can legally deny you a job if you have been convicted of a felony or suspend you from your job. Pay close attention to the wording of a job application.
  • Education Opportunities: In most cases, you will be asked on college and graduate school applications whether you have a conviction. The Common Application, used by more than 500 schools, includes a question about criminal convictions. You may also be ineligible to receive federal student aid or scholarships if you are convicted.
  • Licenses: In Maryland and many other states, you need a license to do certain things like own a handgun, practice law, or practice medicine. Your application for theses licenses can be negatively influenced by a conviction.
  • Voting, Running for Public Office, and Serving on a Jury: These civic privileges are all impacted by a felony conviction.

Always pay close attention to the wording of a question on an application or questionnaire. In some cases, you are not required to answer yes or provide an explanation if the juvenile adjudication or criminal conviction has been expunged, sealed, annulled, or otherwise ordered by a court to be kept confidential. See my post on expungements and other case resolutions in Maryland here.

It is best to hire an attorney to help you avoid a conviction. Our office provides advice and representation to help you get the best results. Call attorney Chris Peretti at 301-875-3472.

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