While all criminal offenders are concerned about the length of jail time and monetary penalties, many first time offenders are unaware of the collateral consequences that come with felony convictions. Minnesota Statute calls them collateral sanctions–penalties, disabilities or disadvantages imposed automatically when an individual is convicted of a crime. These restrictions occur automatically, even if restrictions are not specified in sentencing. In fact, collateral sanctions can begin immediately after arrest.
In the past, the public could not easily access criminal history records, which include arrest records. Today’s technology has greatly increased accessibility to criminal records allowing, landlords, employers, media, data harvesters and virtually any member of the public to use these records against you. Even if you are unfairly accused of a crime and the case comes to a successful resolution, collateral sanctions could still cause problems if a notation is not made or if the record is not sealed.
Such situations make it doubly important that your Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer not only mounts a proper defense, but also ensures that all arrest and conviction records are either expunged or have the proper notation.
Some of the consequences are well-known, particularly if the crime involves children or is sexual in nature. For example, if you are convicted of child abuse or sexual abuse, you cannot be a teacher. You may have to register as a predatory offender or a sex offender. Felony offenders are prohibited from adopting a child for a period of five years following a conviction involving child or domestic abuse, or a violent crime.
Other common penalties involve revocation of voting rights as well as your ability to own firearms. More obscure consequences can significantly affect business owners. Depending on the offense, these can include:
- The ability to obtain a dealership license or a transportation contract
- No liquor license for five years following conviction
- Nursing, pharmacy or healthcare licenses could be at stake
These are just a sampling of the consequence you could suffer if convicted. If you are thinking of taking a plea agreement or want to get a crime expunged, contact us at Martin Law Offices to discuss your options.