The repercussions of a felony conviction extend far beyond the immediate legal consequences.
Individuals facing this situation encounter a web of challenges that can reshape their lives for years to come.
1. Employment opportunities
One of the most challenging hurdles for those with a felony conviction is securing gainful employment. A recent study from the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that 33% of formerly incarcerated individuals struggled with unemployment the four years after release from prison. Many employers conduct background checks, and having a felony on record can lead to automatic disqualification.
2. Housing challenges
Finding a place to live becomes a formidable challenge after a felony conviction. Many landlords conduct background checks before renting to potential tenants. A felony on record can result in immediate rejection, making it difficult to secure stable housing. This obstacle can lead to homelessness or force individuals to live in undesirable conditions, perpetuating a cycle of instability.
3. Loss of civil rights
In Virginia, a felony conviction can result in the loss of certain civil rights, including the right to vote and serve on a jury. This disenfranchisement can have a lasting impact on an individual’s civic engagement, making them feel detached from the democratic process. Overcoming these restrictions often requires a lengthy legal process, further complicating the reintegration of individuals into society.
4. Strained relationships
Felony convictions can strain personal relationships, causing family and friends to distance themselves. The stigma associated with criminal convictions may lead to social isolation, making it challenging for individuals to rebuild a support system. This lack of emotional and social support can contribute to feelings of alienation and make the journey to rehabilitation even more arduous.
While a felony conviction in Virginia has far-reaching consequences, every case is different. The right defense may provide a more ideal outcome.