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Collateral Consequences to a Criminal Conviction

Posted by Arthur R. Frost | Oct 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

When someone is convicted of a criminal offense in New York, they face consequences such as jail or prison time, a fine, and, in some cases, probation for a number of years. However, there are also collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Below are just a few of the many collateral consequences which can occur due to a criminal conviction.

Adoption and Foster Care Limitations

Certain convictions will prevent people from adopting or providing foster care. These convictions currently include felony convictions for

  • Child abuse,
  • Child neglect,
  • Crimes against children (such as child pornography),
  • Drug crimes,
  • Felony assault,
  • Rape, and
  • Sexual assault.

However, you should know there is a mechanism in the law that allows for an exception to be made in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee the exception will be made in a particular case. 

Employment Limitations

Both felony and misdemeanor convictions can bar a person from certain jobs in the state. These jobs include but are not limited to

  • Court officers,
  • Commissioners,
  • Firefighters,
  • Governor,
  • Judges,
  • Legislators,
  • Local supervisors,
  • Notary public, and
  • Police officers.

In some situations and for some positions, a Certificate of Good Conduct may allow one to apply for or keep their job.

Immigration Consequences

People who are not United States citizens can face serious consequences for criminal convictions. In the most serious cases, a criminal conviction can lead to immediate detention and deportation. This is true for both felonies and misdemeanors. Even something as minor as a misdemeanor shoplifting or marijuana possession can result in immigration consequences. These consequences can include:

  • Deportation,
  • A bar to citizenship,
  • A bar to renewing a green card, and
  • An inability to travel outside the country.

Housing Consequences

Even a simple Class B misdemeanor conviction can impact housing. In New York City, a Class B misdemeanor prevents one from living in a New York City Housing Authority apartment for a minimum of three years after the sentence is complete.

Student Loan Consequences

Drug offenses can lead to a suspension of federal aid. This includes

  • Federal grants,
  • Federal loans, and
  • Work assistance.

Once a certain amount of time has passed, one can re-qualify for financial aid after a first offense. A second drug sale conviction or a third drug possession conviction results in a bar to financial aid.

Voting Limitations

When serving a prison sentence or on parole for a felony conviction, New York residents do not have the right to vote. There is an exception which can be made for voting while still on parole in a felony case. However, there is no guarantee the exception will be made.

If You Are Charged With A Crime

If you are charged with a crime, you need competent legal counsel. At Frost & Kavanaugh, we offer representation in criminal cases. From pre-charging investigation to trial or plea negotiations, we provide our counsel and advice. Facing criminal charges can be intimidating. A criminal conviction can have lasting consequences. Contact Frost & Kavanaugh to schedule a consultation today.

About the Author

Arthur R. Frost

Art graduated from Thomas More College in Merrimack, NH in 1991 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA in 1995. He was admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1996. He w...


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