You might imagine, if you only paid attention to legal actions on television and in the movies, that a conviction means a person’s story is over. In reality, a conviction is actually a beginning, the start of a new chapter in an individual’s life.
The question may be, how will this new chapter alter your life? Specifically, how does having a criminal conviction affect the life of a California citizen?
Is it possible to have my rights restored?
Before discussing the expected consequences of having a criminal record, it is important to note that sometimes an individual’s rights and privileges become reinstituted. Thus, it is a good idea to view interaction with the California court system as a lengthy, ongoing process.
What restrictions result from a criminal record?
There are several direct and indirect consequences imparted by a felony conviction. These include:
- Loss of voting rights
- Loss of gun ownership rights
- Loss of immigration status
- Difficulty in obtaining professional licenses, quality jobs and promotions
- Difficulty in obtaining housing
How can I have my rights and privileges restored?
There are several avenues you can pursue in an effort to find relief from the harsh penalties that follow those with criminal records even after they have completed a sentence of incarceration. You can seek expungement, sealing of records, a reduction of charges or even a certificate of rehabilitation (COR).
Though a conviction has an undeniable effect on your life, the legal results do not necessarily have to haunt you forever. Thus, while you may give up certain privileges for a time, the one thing to never give up is hope.