Over 7 million people are reported to have criminal background information in the state of New York as of the end of 2012 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and that number has only increased since then. This makes up approximately one-third of the population of New York State who may suffer often unexpected collateral consequences as a result of a criminal conviction.
Earlier this month, Michael Cibella, as President of the Kings County Criminal Bar Association, organized a Continuing Legal Education program to examine the myriad of potential collateral consequences of criminal convictions here in New York State. These consequences can affect your right to enter or remain in the United States if you are not a citizen, as well when searching for employment, student financial aid and housing.
In New York State, there are roughly 1,314 different statutes and regulations leading to consequences ranging from deportation for a myriad of criminal convictions, even for a legal permanent resident and even if a plea is later vacated; ineligibility for public housing or eviction from private or public housing due to criminal activity at the home, even by a guest; diqualification for federal financial aid for college and graduate school students for a non-criminal violation of marihuana possession; ineligibility to volunteer at a family day care home for any misdemeanor conviction; having an Alcoholic Beverage Control authority license suspended, denied or revoked for any felony, controlled substance offense, DWI conviction, or sex offense.
Indeed, over 100 jobs require you to have a license, registration or certification by a state agency before you can work, any of which may be denied or revoked when you have a criminal conviction. Some common examples include real estate, stockbroker, nursing, accountant and security guard licenses.
Clearly, there are many consequences when criminal charges are filed that go beyond mere punishment by the Courts, consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life in many different ways. As such, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney no matter how minor the charges may seem at first in order to avoid unexpected consequences down the road.