What Are The Collateral Consequences Associated With A Felony Conviction?
Collateral consequences can be life changing. If you have a felony conviction on your record, you cannot get specific employment, as in working for the government, higher education status may be declined, and employers may not even consider you because you have been convicted of a felony. It is obviously crucial not to have a felony on your record and avoid it. That is why you want to hire an attorney and make sure that happens. You can have a felony driver’s license revoked and handle it yourself and just go in and plead guilty and receive probation, but now you have been convicted of a felony for the rest of your life and it is on your record for life.
That is why it is important to have somebody that knows what they are doing and hopefully do a good job, so you do not have a felony conviction on your record. It can be devastating, especially to a lot of people that are one hundred percent legal in this country. If you want to ever have a chance at obtaining your citizenship, full resident or permanent resident alien status, and if you have a felony on your record, there is a pretty good chance that it is never going to happen, and you possibly could get deported. Getting into the felony deportation process is a whole different section of problems especially, because they have statutes that are called aggravated felonies which are normally misdemeanors.
In this state, if you are caught with a pot pipe, that is a Class A misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia, that in and of itself can be enough for any deportation. There are some very serious consequences depending upon which charge you have, so you better have an attorney that has a clue as to what is going on with immigration law. I would advise my clients to talk to an immigration attorney, because you need to know whatever they are going to do and how it will affect you later if you want to stay in the country.
Can A Misdemeanor Charge Be Enhanced To A Felony Charge Later On?
A misdemeanor charge can be enhanced, but it depends. For example, you have a misdemeanor theft that carries up to a year in jail for any amount. If you steal one pack of gum or any amount of theft under $500, that is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of that and say a year later you steal another pack of gum, what starts off as a misdemeanor the state in their discretion, can now charge it as a felony. If you have a prior offense for the same conduct that you have been convicted for, it could be theft or resisting arrest, those things can upgrade from a misdemeanor charge to a felony.
A lot of charges may involve aggravated cases, because you have the same felony committed within ten years. If you have a Class IV felony, it carries only three years, but if you have a prior within the last ten years, now it turns the potential term to six years which is called extended term. For every charge where they are admonishing you or giving you an arraignment and asking you for a not guilty plea, that should be explained to you. What are the maximum potential penalties including if you are liable, to have an extended term because of prior conduct.
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