March 31, 2020
Beware of collateral consequences
Once you’ve found a career you enjoy and that you’re enjoying success with, you’ll probably do whatever you can to prevent it from being taken away from you. One thing that can cause a problem with this is if you’re facing a criminal charge for something related to the career. For example, a mortgage broker who’s facing charges for mortgage fraud or a physician being accused of health care fraud.
When you’re facing a situation like this, you have to do what you can to minimize the collateral consequences that come with the matter. It isn’t always easy because having a clean criminal history is integral for many of these positions. These consequences, which aren’t part of the criminal sentence, must be a primary factor when you’re determining your criminal defense strategy.
It’s interesting to think about how each situation is different with employment consequences. A person who is convicted of a drug crime likely won’t be able to hold a public office or become a police officer; however, someone who’s convicted of a cybercrime like hacking might be offered a job with a government task force.
There are approximately 15,000 collateral consequences that are directly tied to occupational licensing. Of those, around 6,000 are specific, permanent bans once the person is convicted of a crime. These are upheld by licensing boards, and they are often difficult to skirt around or bypass.
Remember that collateral consequences often don’t take the fact that you’ve completed your sentence into account. This means that they can affect you for the rest of your life, so you need to think about this when you’re trying to determine how to answer the charge against you.