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Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction


The consequences of a felony conviction are far greater than time in prison and hefty fines. Hundreds of state, local and federal laws impose additional consequences on felony offenders, which are far more reaching than any criminal sentence. Unfortunately, many felons and even judges and attorneys are unaware of these additional consequences.

Some consequences can have an immediate impact while others may take time to come to fruition. Being aware of what you could be up against is vital when charged with a felony offense. The only way to avoid these potentially life-long consequences is retaining legal counsel and fighting the felony charge. A criminal defense attorney can suppress evidence, call witnesses and do whatever else necessary to have the charge reduced or dropped.

How Will a Felony Conviction Effect My Job?

You will feel the effects of a felony conviction if you work in certain professions. As a general rule, if a job requires you to have a government-issued license, registration, certificate or contract, then conviction of a felony crime could be grounds for termination. Common jobs requiring these permits include doctors, judges, lawyer and cannabis dispensary owners

Those who work with “vulnerable people,” such as children, the mentally ill or prisoner may also feel the impact. Such professions are considered positions of trust and a felony conviction discredits that trust.

Licensed professionals and positions of trust are not the only fields of employment impacted by a felony conviction. No Colorado law prohibits discrimination by private employers based on criminal history, allowing them to terminate employers for virtually any reason. That being said, private employers can also hire felons if they choose, so not all hope is lost.

Family Matters

Conviction of certain felony crimes can affect family matters such as custody and visitation rights. The court considers many factors when determining family law matters, including criminal history. The court will not grant you custody or visitation rights if you have been convicted of the following crimes:

  • Crimes against children (EX: child abuse or neglect)
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Murder
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Incest and aggravated incest

Its proven children flourish when both parents are actively present in their life. The courts always strive to make decisions in the child’s best interest, so they typically grant some form of custody to a parent who has been convicted of a non-violent felony crime. But the court may decide otherwise if the child was harmed in some way by the offense.

Can Felons Own Guns in Colorado?

Every American citizen has the right to bear arms. However, that right is lost when you are convicted of a felony. Under state and federal law, you cannot possess a firearm if you have been convicted of, or pled guilty to:

  • A felony
  • An attempted felony
  • Conspiracy to commit a felony
  • A juvenile crime that would have constituted any of the above if committed by an adult

As it currently stands, your gun rights can only be restored through a Governor’s Pardon, which is official forgiveness of past crimes. Colorado governors grant very few pardons, but it varies based on who’s in office. You could face additional felony charges if you are found in illegal possession of a firearm.

It’s imperative you contact legal representation if you have been charged with a felony crime. Not only could you spend time in prison, but you could lose your job, custody of your children and your second amendment right. Attorneys with Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. are experts in criminal defense. They will stop at nothing to ensure the charges against you are reduced or dropped.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to meet with us. We defend clients of felony offenses in areas such as Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Woodland Park and Cañon City.

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Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.