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What the long-term consequences of a federal conviction are

When a person is convicted of a crime, it's like a scarlet letter attached to their name. Currently, there's no system in place in Texas or the United States as a whole that automatically expunges an individual's criminal records after a certain period. Once a defendant is convicted of a crime, and more specifically a federal one, their conviction is generally attached to their name forever.

There are collateral consequences to being convicted of a crime. This is more than just the adverse information being on an individuals' permanent record too.

Both state and federal government officials impose restrictions on convicted felons. Defendants and convicted felons alike are often deprived of opportunities or rights to take part in certain activities including owning a weapon, voting, receiving government benefits and other things sometimes briefly, but indefinitely in other cases. Government officials take away these rights under the guise of protecting the public.

One of perhaps the most significant collateral consequences of a felony conviction is that it reduces a person's employment opportunities. The American Bar Association estimates that as much as 70% of the 46,000 identifiable collateral consequences are employment-related.

Local ordinances here in Corpus Christi and other jurisdictions may prohibit certain ex-offenders from taking jobs in the construction field, as cab drivers, at movie theaters or bowling alleys and even at barbershops. Those restrictions are in place because convicted felons are often deemed to have an inherently poor moral character based on their previous convictions.

Many legal reform advocates have called for a reduction in collateral consequences associated with felony convictions. One of the reasons that they've done so is because these advocates see these consequences as increasingly punitive. They worry that these restrictions will unnecessarily result in a felon's recidivism.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that many offenders who released from incarceration have difficulty finding gainful employment. This is why these individuals often re-offend.

If you're facing federal criminal charges, then you may find yourself overwhelmed knowing that the prosecuting attorneys who have filed charges against you are backed by the seemingly endless power and wealth of the government. In cases like this, it's important that you have the most experienced federal crimes attorney possible representing your interests. This will give you the greatest chance of achieving the best possible outcome in your Texas case.

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