Collateral Consequences for Criminal Convictions
If you plead guilty or are found guilty of committing a crime, there are many potential collateral consequences to such a conviction beyond the fine and/or incarceration imposed by the court at sentencing. If you are convicted of a felony, you will be required to submit a DNA sample to the state DNA database, which is used to clear cold cases. If you are convicted of a drug or alcohol related offense, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for a period of time based on your record and the conviction. If you are not a citizen, your conviction is likely to have serious consequences upon your stay in this country and upon your eligibility for citizenship in the future. A conviction could jeopardize future eligibility for federal student aid. Most felony convictions, and even some misdemeanor convictions, will prevent you from being eligible to own a firearm. A conviction could disqualify you from serving on a jury (while this might seem like a benefit in disguise, it is still a right which the government is taking away from you). A conviction could inhibit your ability to register to vote in some regions of the country.