There are many potential consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. Twenty-five are listed below:
- Once you are arrested, your fingerprints and photographs are now on permanent record at the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement and the FBI.
- Once you have an arrest record it is available to the public.
- After an arrest, you may not be able to seal your criminal record, although in some cases you might. This is dependent on your charge, the ultimate disposition of your case, as well as your previous criminal background and history.
- The FBI never expunges or seals arrest records.
- If you were arrested and received credit for time served, your case was not dismissed, dropped or otherwise erased. What this means is that you were either found guilty by the court or that you pled guilty.
- Once you have been convicted, it may be difficult or impossible to rent or lease an apartment or house, as your criminal background is available to landlords, who indeed make a practice of researching applicants’ backgrounds.
- A withhold of adjudication does NOT mean that your arrest record will become invisible.
- If you were arrested, it is likely that your DNA sample is now on record and available to law enforcement everywhere.
- If you know someone in Section 8 or public housing, you may be prohibited from living with them or even visiting them.
- If you were convicted of a drug offense, your license will be suspended.
- There are strict laws prohibiting individuals from serving in law enforcement if you were convicted of either misdemeanor or felony domestic violence (or adjudicated delinquent). Additionally, in some circumstances you may be prohibited from serving in the military.
- A conviction will prohibit you from obtaining college financial aid, including, for example: State of Florida Bright Futures, Gold Seal Vocational and Academic Scholars.
- If you were receiving financial aid and were convicted of a drug offense, including possession or sale of a controlled substance, you will be prohibited from obtaining federal student financial aid for a certain period of time. This includes, for example, grants, loans and work assistance.
- In some circumstances a conviction will prohibit you from petitioning to seal or expunge your criminal record.
- A conviction will prohibit you from the following privileges, although some may be restored upon completing your sentence:
- the right to vote
- the right to hold public office
- the right to be a juror d. the right to possess a firearm
- A conviction for drug trafficking will prohibit you from food stamp eligibility.
- If you were convicted of a felony, in many cases a future felony conviction may mandate a longer or mandatory prison sentence.
- If you were convicted of a drug trafficking offense or any felony or a first degree misdemeanor you may be prohibited from obtaining employment:
- with a security or public safety-related job in a county or municipality,
- any law enforcement, correctional officer or other job with children or the elderly,
- in a public school system,
- in a seaport, airport or other public transportation system.
- If you should have to testify in or out of court, a felony conviction can be used to challenge your credibility.
- A former prison sentence or period of probation will allow your photograph to be posted on the Florida Dept. of Corrections website.
- A drug trafficking conviction will generally result in an occupational license revocation.
- A misdemeanor or felony conviction or withhold can result in a denial of:
- Occupational license
- business license
- professional healthcare license such as licensed practical nurse, EMT, registered nurse and more
- If you receive a conviction or withhold of adjudication and you are not a U.S. citizen, but are a permanent resident, you may be denied from ever receiving a green card.
- In the event that you have a green card, you can potentially be deported.
- If you are convicted of a sex offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender or sexual predator for the rest of your life.
- There will be specific requirements as to where you can live,
- You will be prohibited from going to certain places, such as within certain distances of schools, playgrounds and public places.
- Professional licensure: Generally, any professional license can be suspended or revoked if the individual is convicted for any offense related to the specific occupation.
- If the licensed individual fails to report a conviction, this may result in disciplinary action
West Palm Beach and South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Attorney David W. Olson offers a complimentary consultation to discuss your case. Attorney Olson represents clients in West Palm Beach, Broward County, Miami Dade County, South Florida and throughout the state. An appointment can be scheduled by calling 561-833-8866.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: The Collateral Consequences of a Conviction in Florida , Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office, 2015.