Being charged with a felony-level offense can be an incredibly harrowing and stressful experience. The sentences for convicted felons in Louisiana can be severe and include heavy fines, lengthy prison sentences, and in some cases, the death penalty. While these penalties can drastically alter a person’s life, many individuals convicted of felonies suffer lasting consequences long after their sentence is served. Some of these collateral consequences include the loss of certain civil rights as well as difficulty finding employment and housing.
If you have been arrested for a felony in Louisiana, you have the legal right to fight the charges against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate your case, negotiate on your behalf, and represent your interests in court. If you are facing felony charges, a seasoned defense attorney can help stand between you and the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction.
The Lasting Impacts of a Felony Conviction in Louisiana
In Louisiana, criminal records are public and permanent, meaning they can follow you for life. After serving your sentence, anyone can request your criminal record through a background check. While there is a certain stigma surrounding any criminal record, you may be judged even more harshly if you were convicted of a felony. A criminal conviction on a background check can affect your ability to:
- Gain admission and financial aid for colleges and universities
- Maintain child custody
- Find housing
- Secure employment
Additionally, convicted felons may also lose some rights and privileges depending on the severity of the crime. Some of these rights and privileges include:
- The right to vote while you are serving your sentence, even if you are on parole
- The loss of professional licenses if you were convicted of a sex crime or violent crime
- The right to possess a firearm if you were convicted of a sex crime, violent crime, or weapons offense. This right is restored ten years after serving your sentence if you do not have an additional conviction.
These are only a few of the many long-term effects a felony conviction can have on your life. In some cases, you may even lose government benefits such as social security, Medicaid, and the ability to get food stamps. Your lawyer will work with you to ensure you understand the charges you face and their lasting consequences so you can be better prepared to fight for your rights and freedoms.
Can I Get a Felony Conviction Expunged in Louisiana?
Since a criminal conviction can be devastating to every area of your life, Louisiana offers expungement so that eligible individuals can move forward with their lives after their sentence is served. An expungement removes the conviction from your public criminal record, meaning that it will not show up when an employer or landlord runs a background check on you. To apply for expungement for a felony conviction, you must wait ten years after you serve your sentence and not have any criminal charges or convictions during that time frame. However, some more severe felonies do not qualify for expungement, including:
- Sex crimes
- Drug crimes
- Violent crimes
- Any crime against a minor
Unfortunately, many felonies fall into the above categories, disqualifying those convicted from expungement. If you have been arrested on felony charges, it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side to help avoid a conviction and its potential lifelong effects.
Speak to a Seasoned Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney
Felony charges can be daunting, especially since a conviction can continue to impact you decades after the judge declares a verdict. Fortunately, you do not have to fight for your future alone. Attorney Eric G. Johnson of The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm understands how high the stakes are for individuals facing felony charges in Louisiana. Attorney Johnson has nearly three decades of experience defending the accused and achieving favorable outcomes for their cases. To learn more about how he and our team of legal professionals can help you, call us at (318) 377-1555 or complete our contact form and schedule a free consultation today.