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What are the long-lasting effects of a felony charge?

If you are convicted of a felony in Louisiana, the punishment may go far beyond that which is handed down by the court. There are many lasting effects that will cause you to lose rights and that could alter your life. According to the Louisiana Justice Coalition, a felony charge may affect your employment, ability to receive government benefits and your civil rights.

Employment may be impacted if you or your employer holds a professional license. Such licenses may be revoked upon the charge, and you may not be able to get them reinstated. Your employer may also lose a professional license simply for employing you. If you work in certain industries, such as a school, you may be barred from employment upon conviction.

Many government benefits are seriously affected by a charge. Drug charges, specifically, can affect your ability to get food stamps and financial aid for college. You may lose your federal housing and become ineligible to get it in the future. If you receive benefits, such as Social Security, Medicaid, veteran's benefits or food stamps, you will lose them while incarcerated and possible after release. In some cases, your family may not be able to get them either.

Civil rights are also highly affected by a felony conviction. You lose your right to own or possess a firearm if your charge carries a possible punishment of one year or more in prison. This includes having one in your home or in a vehicle even if it belongs to someone else. You will likely not be able to foster or adopt children due to a conviction. Your voting rights are suspended while you are incarcerated or on probation or parole. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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