It's often been said that everyone is deserving of a second chance. In theory, that sounds good and fair. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different for someone who has been convicted of a felony.
The term felon is a difficult label for someone to have to carry with them. It's like having a DUI. No matter where they go, it's going to have a negative impact on their life. Before going into detail about the long term effects of a felony conviction, it's worth noting that not all felonies are equal.
It's important to keep in mind that felony classifications may vary from one state to another. Also, federal felony crimes get their own numeric classifications. With that said, here's a general idea of how states typically classify felonies.
At the state level, felonies are usually given a letter classification from A to E with A being reserved for the worst crimes. Some states use a numeric value instead of a letter. In Virginia, felonies are given a numeric value of 1 through 6 with Class 1 being the more serious crimes.
Classification matters for two reasons. First, each classification carries specific sentencing guidelines. Second, the worst the classification, the greater the long term effects on the individual's life. People in Richmond, VA. who are facing a felony conviction will need a top Richmond criminal defense attorney
The Long Term Effects of the Felony Label
The long terms effects of a felony conviction can be legal effects or societal effects. Let's take a look at both areas.
The legal effects of a felony conviction generally encompass the loss of civil rights. That would include the following:
Loss of the right to vote
Loss of the right to own and carry a weapon of any kind
The right to run for public office
The right to hold a job as a government employee
Most people can get through life without suffering the impact of the loss of these rights. Where the real difficulties lie is in the area of societal effects. Take a look at the ways a felony may impact someone's personal life:
Loss of important relationships
Loss of employment
Inability to find a good-paying job
Loss of housing
Inability to qualify for government programs
Great financial loss and the burden of paying fines and restitution
If you are looking at a possible DUI or felony conviction and need legal representation, please feel free to contact me, Richmond criminal defense attorney Vaughan C. Jones, Attorney at Law, online or by phone at (804) 207-5735.