Criminal Procedures


What are the legal results of a felony conviction?

Obviously, a person convicted of a felony will be imprisoned for a certain amount of time. Furthermore, some states have so-called “three strikes laws” where a third felony conviction could lead to a life sentence even if the specific crime in question in isolation called for a much shorter sentence.

But, there are collateral consequences of a felony conviction that attach to a person after he or she has served his or her sentence. These collateral consequences vary from state to state. In many states, a person convicted of a felony cannot vote, cannot serve on juries, or own a firearm. They may not be able to hold down certain jobs or engage in certain professions. As a practical reality, it is much more difficult for a person convicted of a felony to obtain a job than for someone who does not have such a serious criminal record.

All of these are reasons why if a person is charged with a crime, he or she should consider any agreement with the prosecution that would require them to plead guilty only to a misdemeanor.


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