Having any type of criminal record can have a major impact on your future, but a felony conviction can affect your life in a variety of different ways, including new friendships, finding your dream job, having a healthy relationship, and so on. Surely, everyone deserves to create their future, but our society is not much open for those who already have a criminal record, no matter the recovery process, and every national program they took a part in. From your right to vote to where you can live, a felony charge can follow you for years after the actual incident. Many of these people are asking themselves will they ever be able to live a normal life after they serve the sentence. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t move on and rebuild your life after being sentenced to a felony. Surely there is a lot of work to be done, and working on yourself should be your main priority in cases like this.
How Does a Felony Affect Your Future?
Felonies and misdemeanors are both criminal offenses, but felonies are the more serious of the two. Due to this, they carry harsher punishments, longer sentences, and more post-jail restrictions. In Minnesota, felonies carry a minimum jail time of one year, so it’s highly likely your life will be disrupted while you’re serving your sentence.
Following this, there may be a range of conditions imposed on you, such as travel restrictions, curfews, and parole limitations. In addition to this, there are informal consequences you’ll need to consider, such as how potential employers and landlords will react when you disclose your criminal history or whether you’ll be able to continue with your education.
Usually, every country offers some recovery and reintegration programs, that help these people to become a part of the labor and society again, letting them fight for their future, and rebuilding and reinventing themselves, after they close a huge chapter of their life. Sometimes this process takes a long time until the person is eligible to be a part of the social events, planning, and the whole system.
What Are Your Options?
If you’ve already been convicted of a felony and you’ve served your sentence, you could mitigate the long-term impact of your criminal record by petitioning to have the conviction expunged. This effectively means that the records relating to your charge are sealed, so they’re no longer accessible to the public.
Expungement is the most effective way to prevent a felony conviction from having life-changing consequences, but it’s not always easy to obtain. You’ll need to meet certain criteria and have good representation if you want the court to agree to seal your records. With advice and assistance from experienced criminal defense lawyers, like Lauren Campoli, you can give your case the best chance of success.
These professionals are a very important chain in the whole reintegration process because very often the former convicted criminals don’t have the same self-confidence and ability to get back to work or take an active part in the community activities. Those people and advisors are usually well-trained, and they work in non-government organizations that provide this type of protection for those who faced the law due to their previous behavior.
Should You Plead Guilty to a Felony Charge?
Whether or not you should plead guilty to any criminal charge is a matter to discuss with your attorney. Every case is different, which means there are no hard and fast rules as to how you should plead. Although a guilty plea can reduce your subsequent sentence, there may be other options on the table. Due to this, it’s vital to access legal advice and representation when you’re arrested or charged with a felony.
In some instances, it may be possible for your attorney to argue that the charge should be reduced to a misdemeanor, which would substantially reduce your punishment and lessen the long-term impact your conviction has. Alternatively, your legal team may be able to argue that there isn’t enough evidence to proceed with a case against you and that your charges should be dismissed.
No matter what the situation is, getting legal advice immediately following your arrest is the best course of action. Once your lawyer has access to the facts and can assess the evidence against you, they’ll be able to provide you with bespoke advice and help you navigate the criminal justice system.
How to deal with the whole situation?
You must take your time to recover, and almost every advanced law system is allowing that option for the people who performed some criminal act to recover. If you’ve been in jail, you also have to recover from that, because many people consider it as a type of trauma, which is true, depending on the conditions there. Some countries have very restrictive laws about these people, but everyone should follow the motto that nothing should stop anyone to be a responsible part of society again, especially if they really understand what they’ve done before, and why they faced a felony.
Sometimes, the recovery depends on the options your country is offering for you, and also, the type of crime you performed. Most of the felonies have the same weight no matter where you are, and moving from your country won’t solve the problem. Anyway, you will be assigned with an attorney and social worker, or a team, who will work with you, of course, if you want or need that, and you will be able to reintegrate into the society once again.
Having a criminal record is not the easiest thing to handle in your life, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean your life should stop after you serve your sentence. As a human being, you have every right to get back to normal life. Sometimes, you can become eligible for cleaning your record, especially if you finish all the things that were required by the authorities, as you serve your sentence.
Some records can be cleaned by closing the cases, and classifying the content, especially if it was clean before, and you don’t do anything bad in the future. This part of your life shouldn’t define you as a person, because living in the criminal mindset will only bring unpleasant situations for you. But, if you are sure you want to proceed to live your normal life, and you will be able to avoid breaking the laws again, then you have great chances to reintegrate into society once again, get a new job, complete your education, or even being able to buy your own apartment.
You only have to work hard and to dedicate a lot of time and effort, so you can have your life back, and free up from the luggage your past is putting on you.