An arrest can suddenly put your life in jeopardy. The possibility of going to jail is the most obvious threat that you face. However, if convicted, you could face many other consequences. Here, our Dallas criminal defense attorneys present a handful of different ways in which a conviction could affect your future.
Fines, Costs and Restitution
Many crimes in Texas carry hefty fines. For instance, you could pay a fine of up to $2,000 if you are a first-time DWI offender. Additionally, a court could order you to pay costs, fees and – if the case involves a property crime such as larceny – restitution.
Loss of Your Driver’s License
A DWI charge and many other offenses could result in the loss of your driving privileges upon conviction. This is separate and distinct from an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). To get your license back, you have to go through a difficult process and pay additional fees and costs.
Loss of Income and Future Job Opportunities
Your employer may fire you upon your conviction for a crime. You may also miss out on future job opportunities. Most employers run criminal background checks before they hire someone. They may turn you down if you have a misdemeanor or felony on your record. Additionally, a professional licensing board in a field such as nursing could take away your license or refuse to grant you one.
Loss of Higher Education Opportunities
If you are a college student, your school may suspend or expel you. At the very least, you should expect to attend a hearing before a school disciplinary board. Additionally, you may be ineligible for federal financial aid, which you may need in order to pay for your education.
Loss of Gun Ownership Rights
Under Texas law, a convicted felon cannot possess a firearm. However, after five years pass from the discharge of your sentence – in other words, the end of your prison sentence, parole or probation – you can possess a firearm, but only in your residence.
Limited Housing Options
Convicted felons, in particular, often find it difficult to find housing after their release from prison, especially if their offense involved drugs, a sex crime, violence or a crime against a child.
Loss of Voting Rights
One of the often-overlooked consequences of a criminal conviction is the loss of your voting rights. In Texas, you cannot vote again until you complete your sentence, parole or probation.
If you are a non-citizen who lives in Texas, you could face deportation (or removal) if you are convicted of a crime. If you are a visa or green card holder, your status could be in jeopardy because U.S. immigration law may deem the offense to be a “crime of moral turpitude” or “aggravated felony.”
Get Help from a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
As you can see, you face high stakes after an arrest. You need to protect your rights and start to plan your defense strategy right now. Don’t wait to get legal help. Contact Kraft & Associates today and let us review your case in a confidential consultation.