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Collateral consequences of convictions are considerable — Part 2

In a previous blog post, we discussed how your defense strategy is the beginning of fighting against the collateral consequences of being convicted of a crime. Some of these consequences that you will face are set forth by federal and state laws. These can all have a negative impact on the way that you live your life right now.

One of the rights that is impacted when you are convicted of a felony charge is your right to vote. Federal law leaves felon voting rights up to the states to decide. Felons in Maryland are fairly lucky because they can have their rights restored.

If you have served your court imposed prison term, including a sentence for assault or manslaughter, you can register to vote. This is fairly new in this state. The right for felons to vote became effective on March 10, 2016. If your crime was related to voter fraud, your right to vote can’t be restored.

A felony conviction can also bar you from holding positions as an elected official, as well as other government positions. In some cases, you won’t be able to participate in federal programs or contracts.

Even certain federal benefits won’t be available. This is sometimes dependent upon the type of charge that you were convicted on. For example, a person with a drug conviction likely can’t get a federal grant or access to food stamps. Registered sex offenders are forbidden from living in housing that is made available under federal programs.

If you are concerned about what collateral consequences might occur after a conviction, you should seek out these answers prior to the resolution of your case. This information might give you the boost you need to fight the charges.

Source: Department of Justice, “Federal Statutes Imposing Collateral Consequences After Conviction,” accessed Feb. 01, 2017

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