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Orange County Bar Association

Collateral Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

Jail time is only one thing that you need to worry about after a drug conviction. Even if you have managed to avoid a prison sentence, your life after a conviction will not be without consequences. From difficulty finding a job to the loss of other rights, you will feel the effects of a conviction for some time to come.

Difficulty Finding or Keeping Your Job

Your employer may perform a background check before they hire you. Even if the state does not allow for discrimination against people who have criminal convictions, the nature of your job may require close scrutiny of your background. For example, your job may require you to be around children or drive people for a living. Those who have drug convictions may pose a safety risk to others, and an employer may have no choice but to terminate you or decline to extend a job offer. 

Potential Impacts on Your Immigration Status

If you are here as a temporary resident, or you have undocumented status, a conviction could lead to possible decoration or denial of citizenship. ICE will look for certain crimes, including offenses of moral turpitude. Once they learn of your conviction, they may summon you to a deportation hearing, where you would need to argue why you should still remain in the country. 

Loss of Federal Benefits

If you are receiving federal benefits, such as housing assistance, they could be at risk when you have a drug conviction. The Denial of Federal Benefits Program gives Federal and State courts the ability to deny all or selected Federal benefits to those who are convicted of drug trafficking or drug possession. The good news is that federal laws have recently changed, and those who are convicted of drug offenses do not become ineligible for student loans.

Impacts to Your Custody Case

If you have been convicted of a drug crime, you may lose custody of your children or your visitation rights. The court may order you to successfully complete treatment before you can either regain custody or spend time with your children. The court may order supervised visitation until it is convinced that you have completed all the requirements, and you are clean and sober. The same is true whether you have a pending or an ongoing custody matter.

The Loss of the Right to Own Firearms

If your drug conviction was a felony, you would no longer be able to purchase or own a firearm. There are restrictions under federal law that prevent gun ownership or purchases by those who have been charged with or convicted of a felony. 

Contact an Orange County Drug Crimes Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you cannot simply accept whatever the prosecutor offers you. Consult with an experienced attorney to learn how it may affect you and whether you can fight the charges against you. Call us today or message us online to schedule an initial consultation. 

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