What Are the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction?
Have you ever wondered about the consequences of a criminal conviction? Not just the usual fine, community service, probation, or jail time, but what about other, collateral consequences, things like license suspensions, professional disqualifications, firearm restrictions, and the like.
Recently, several governmental agencies conducted the necessary research and compiled a list of such collateral consequences. This list, called the “National Inventory of Collateral Consequences,” is available to the public. Clicking on the “V” will take you to a map where you select a state or other jurisdiction, or you may select multiple jurisdictions. From there, you will be taken to a page where you search by “consequence category,” offense category,” or keyword.
For example, suppose you are charged with possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in Georgia, and you know the maximum possible sentence that may be imposed, but you want to know the collateral consequences of a conviction. Under the heading “Select Offense Category,” choose “Any misdemeanor” and “Controlled substances offenses,” and then click the “V.”
Wow! You will see that the “Consequence List” includes 454 separate collateral consequences, some mandatory, some discretionary, and some automatic, of a conviction for a misdemeanor controlled substance crime. Such crimes range from possession of less than one ounce of marijuana to trafficking. Collateral consequences range from ineligibility for child custody to denial of a general contractor license to ineligibility for an embalmer license and hundreds of others.
Anyone facing criminal charges should consider researching the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences to appreciate the grave consequences that accompany virtually any criminal conviction.