Conviction for a crime has long-term consequences aside from serving a sentence and completing probation. Convictions will appear on your criminal record indefinitely until it is expunged. An arrest or conviction can be expunged but it depends on the crime and the progress of sentencing. For example, a certain state may allow expungement of misdemeanour arrests and convictions but not felony convictions.
Long term consequences of a criminal conviction
According to federal laws, persons who have been convicted of certain crimes are banned from possessing firearms. Certain crimes include all felonies and domestic violence issues that were considered misdemeanours. Gun possession rights will only be restored after the conviction in question has been expunged or if the person has been pardoned and his civil rights have been restored. While it is possible to restore the right to possess arms for a convicted person under state laws, it is still subject o federal prohibition. Rules on gun ownership and possession can be quite complex and only a knowledgeable criminal lawyer understands the laws.
Almost all the states have restrictions on the voting rights of individuals who were convicted for felony. However, there are states that allow felons to vote while incarcerated through absentee ballots using their last address in the state. In other states, persons with felony convictions regain their voting rights after the completion of their sentence which means time incarcerated and time on probation or parole. However, in other states, completion of sentence also includes payment of all outstanding court fines and fees and restitution orders. Once a person is no longer restricted to vote, he is required to register again to vote.
No one would be happier than an arrestee after the prosecution announces a decision that charges will not be filed. However, the criminal footprint will not be automatically eradicated. It is certainly worth the effort to have the record of dealings with law enforcement removed permanently particularly for employment purposes. In California, if a person is arrested but not charged, the arrest is considered detention for all purposes. The detainee is required to request for a certificate that describes the arrest as detention and for law enforcement to alter its records. In other states, defendants must file a petition with the court to be entitled to record-sealing pursuant to a finding of factual innocence.
Private citizens can access some of the criminal records of a person who has been convicted of a crime. Criminal records like criminal proceedings are open to the public and media so that they can see that justice is at work. However, there are sealed records that are exempted from public access particularly criminal records that the court has ordered to be sealed or expunged.
In order to avoid the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, it is important to hire a criminal lawyer immediately after you are arrested or charged with a crime. There are criminal lawyers who have gained extensive experience in defending people who are facing criminal charges. Most of them have the legal prowess to achieve the best outcome possible.