How Does A Felony Affect Your Life? When most people think about a felony conviction, they only think about going to prison. Spending time in the clink is no doubt going to be the most psychologically damaging part of the entire experience, but it doesn’t end there.
Think about how the experience is going to affect you after. A felony conviction is something that will follow you for the rest of your life. When convicted of a felony, it has the potential to change who you are as a person.
It all starts with the loss of few basic rights. As basic as these rights might seem, they are granted to you just because you were born in the United States.
Unfortunately, some rights that you were granted just for being born in the United States could potentially be taken away when you become a felon.
How Does A Felony Affect Your Life?
So, what happens if you have a felony on your record? Is your life ruined after a felony conviction? These are all things that many will wonder about after being convicted or during the trial, and it’s only natural. Therefore, it pays to know as much as you possibly can.
#1. Losing The Right To Vote
Most people don’t realize it, but when a person becomes a felon they lose the basic right to vote or hold office. You cannot even be a candidate to hold office when convicted of a felony. This means that you can’t run for office.
However, some states will remand this, allowing your right to be reinstated. In the state of California, you can get your right to vote reinstated after you have finished serving your sentence and have your fines paid in full.
#2. You Could Lose Federal Assistance
There are many people that simply couldn’t make it without federal assistance. There is nothing wrong with this, as life is tough sometimes, especially when the economy isn’t in the best shape.
There is no getting around the fact that the economy isn’t great right now and a lot of people who never thought they would be are now relying on specific government assistance programs.
Unfortunately, these amenities can be potentially taken away from you when you become a convicted felon. Some might lose the benefit of drawing food stamps, while others might lose the government’s assistance with paying for higher education. Either way, both are major losses.
Loans, grants, or work-study programs can go right out the window when you become a convicted felon. If you are not one with substantial savings before your conviction, the experience could ruin you financially. Even if you are financially sound before the conviction, you will likely be drained once the ordeal is said and done.
#3. No More Jury Duty
Not many people like being chosen for jury duty. Most feel like it is a punishment more than a benefit but holding the right to deem a peer in the court of law can be a huge responsibility. If you have been convicted of a felony, this is something you will be disqualified from in the state of California.
However, you can get back out there once you have your civil rights restored to you. As of right now, there are only two ways that this can be gone.
The first is to apply for and be granted what’s called a Certificate of Rehabilitation. The second is by getting a direct pardon from the governor of your state.
#4. Forget About The Farmed Forces
Serving in the armed forces can be immensely beneficial for the right individuals. It does not only offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you’ll get to travel the world, but it can be financially beneficial.
While serving in the Army or Navy, you can take classes or learn a trade. Either way, these are things that you can later use in life once you’ve completed your time in the armed forces.
Don’t forget about the fact that serving in the armed forces is something that comes with a paycheck. It’s not like you are going to be devoting your time and body for free. Many have established and built military careers.
With this in mind, the armed forces are no longer an opportunity for you when you become a convicted felon.
#5. The Forfeiture Of Professional Licenses
Becoming a medical professional, lawyer, architect, or even a private detective can be a time-consuming process. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and time. To even work in these fields and similar ones, you must acquire special licenses.
For instance, if you want to become a nurse, you’ll have to attend nursing school, graduate, and get your nursing license. Becoming a private detective or even doctor holds a similar process. Either way, these processes are time-consuming and expensive.
Unfortunately, when you become a felon, you lose your basic right to hold these licenses. Could you imagine going to school for 5 years, becoming a doctor, getting convicted of a felony, and then losing your right to hold this license? It would be a complete nightmare, but the possibility is more than real for felons.
FAQs on How A Felony Affects Your Life
Does A Felony Ruin Your Life?
There is simply no denying the fact that becoming a felon is going to make life harder. Simple things like applying for a job or even traveling overseas are going to becoming immensely difficult.
However, that doesn’t mean the ordeal has to ruin your life. It honestly is all about how you react and respond to the situation.
And as you can see, it is entirely possible to get your rights back. It is going to take time and be a lot of work, and you’ll be looked down on in the process, but you can get your life back on track.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Being A Felon?
It would be easy to say there are way more disadvantages that are going to come along with being a felon than advantages. Some of those disadvantages are obvious from the information above.
You may no longer be able to vote for some time, you may no longer be able to work in your chosen field that you attended years and years of schooling for, or you may no longer be able to travel overseas.
Can A Felony Be Reduced After Conviction?
As you learned from above, felons can get their rights back. Just because you can’t vote right now, it doesn’t mean you might not be able to later down the road. Well, this similar theory can be applied to your classification of a felony.
Just because you are a felon right now, it doesn’t mean you have to remain a felon. In the right states, with the right amount of time, your conviction could be overturned to a misdemeanor.
All states use a similar classification system, dividing felonies into six different categories. These range from Class A to Class E, with Class A being the highest, worst possible offense. Some states classify their felonies Class 1 to Class 6, with Class 1 being the worst of the worst like murder. These are usually the sentences that require more lengthy prison time.
In some states, felony crimes with lower classification can be reduced to misdemeanors. However, there are other states where a murder will always be considered a felony. It honestly comes down to the crime you committed and the state in which you committed it.
What Are The Effects Of A Felony Conviction?
It should be obvious by now that a felony conviction is going to be followed by negatives. Such convictions are only going to affect your life negatively.
The only way that a felony conviction could be seen as a good thing was if it got you to turn your life around. If it got you to see the errors of your ways and strive for better.
Other than this, felonies can lead to depression, time in prison, the loss of support of loved ones, the right to hold specific titles, and more. Being convicted of a felony comes with all negativities unless it gets you to open your eyes and see where you have gone wrong!
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.