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Collateral Consequences

May 10, 2021

When a person is convicted of a crime in Virginia, there are often unexpected collateral consequences that occur as a result. After a misdemeanor or felony conviction, court-ordered criminal penalties are not the only consequences. It is important for you to understand the potential collateral consequences you could face from a criminal charge, and defend your case accordingly.

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime in Virginia, experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney Bryan J. Jones can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.

Virginia Professional Licenses

Many professions require a special license in order to maintain employment in that field. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Doctors

  • Nurses (and other healthcare professionals)

  • Teachers

  • Lawyers

  • Commercial Truck Drivers

  • Contractors

Many states have requirements for a background check for those with a special license, and a criminal offense could result in probation or the loss or suspension of your license.

Employment in Virginia

Many employers do not look kindly on a criminal record, especially depending on the criminal charge. For those already employed, they may face termination, like when your job requires a security clearance or when it requires a clean driving record (and your charge is for a DUI).

For those currently unemployed, it may be difficult to find future employment, especially if you are convicted of a felony offense. While there are certain laws to protect those previously convicted of a crime, for the most part, potential employers decide who gets hired, and a criminal record could mean tossing your application aside for another application.

With the loss of employment comes financial hardship, the inability to support yourself, and the inability to support your family. With the right legal defense, you can work with your attorney to minimize the collateral consequences to your employment.

Constitutional Rights

After a conviction for a felony in Virginia, there are certain constitutional rights that may be permanently lost with few exceptions. This includes:

  • the right to vote;

  • the right to legally possess a firearm; and

  • the right to serve on a jury.

These rights are automatically taken away after a Virginia felony conviction. To restore them requires petitioning the Secretary of the Commonwealth for the restoration of the person's constitutional rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help restore your rights after they have been taken.

Family Matters

A criminal conviction may have an impact on your family, as well as yourself. When a person is convicted of a crime, incarceration can take you from your loved ones. Even on probation, your travel is likely restricted. You may also have trouble obtaining a car loan, mortgage, or personal loan.

A criminal record also impacts the outcome of a divorce proceeding, a child custody battle, and other related domestic issues. Courts can consider your criminal record and pending charges during these cases, and without the right legal help, you could see negative collateral consequences as a result.

Contact an Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney

You have options to fight your charges and prevent collateral consequences like those listed above. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you will be found guilty. To protect your constitutional rights, you need Virginia criminal defense attorney Bryan J. Jones to defend your case.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.