Being convicted of a felony carries some serious consequences that can follow you throughout the rest of your life. The immediate impacts upon your life from a felony conviction range from the cost of defending yourself against charges, the potential loss of income due to losing your job, and your potential loss of your freedom. The first, most obvious consequence is the cost of defending yourself. Those costs can avalanche with conviction to include such things as criminal fines, loss of employment, the difficulty of finding new employment after a felony conviction, restitution, and other costs. In addition to prison time, a court can impose other, costly punishments for a felony conviction, including:

  • Probation. Probation allows you to avoid prison, but probation carries its own requirements imposed by the court, such as regular visits with a probation officer, paying all court fees and costs on time, and participating in alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs. Fees to pay for the probation or for any drug or alcohol programs are common.
  • Restitution. Courts can order defendants to pay back victims for any money they might have lost as a result of the criminal activity. Restitution is in addition to any fines or court costs.
  • House Arrest. House arrest sentences may involve additional costs and fees, such as the payment of monitoring devices or services.

Not All Impacts of a Felony Conviction are Financial

The financial impact of having to serve prison time is obvious, and if you are the sole income earner for your family, potentially catastrophic. But the impacts can spread to many other aspects of your life beyond the financial. A felony conviction can affect many other rights, including:

  • Security clearances for certain professions, including sensitive government positions, teaching, childcare work, and security;
  • Ability to obtain a passport or a visa for entry into certain countries;
  • Ability to legally obtain firearms;
  • Loss of federal financial aid for college in drug-related convictions; and
  • The potential loss of parental rights, including custody and visiting rights.

South Carolina law provides that anyone convicted of any crime, felony or misdemeanor, that violates election laws is not allowed to vote until they have completed their sentence, including jail time, probation or parole. Otherwise, misdemeanor convictions bar voting only while incarcerated. Any category of felony convictions bars voting until all sentence requirements have been completed, including incarceration, probation or parole.

Further, a felony conviction can affect your ability to find employment. If convicted of a felony, you might lose the professional license or permit required for your previous job. You can try to regain the license, but the process can be costly and time-consuming.

If You Have Been Arrested on Felony Charges in the Columbia Area, You Should Contact Criminal Defense Attorney William A. Hodge, Attorney at Law

If you have been charged with a felony in the Columbia area, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney. Competent legal representation is the best way avoid or mitigate the impact of a felony conviction. You need a competent attorney to guide you through the legal process. William A. Hodge, Attorney at Law, can assist you with such charges. You can call me at (803) 457-2216 or use my online contact form.