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Collateral Consequences Basics

Besides direct consequences that can include jail time, fines, and treatment, a criminal conviction can trigger many consequences outside of the criminal court system. These consequences can affect your current job, future job opportunities, housing choices, immigration status, etc. For example:

  • A Class B Misdemeanor conviction, like possession of graffiti instruments or less than an ounce of marijuana, means you cannot live in a New York City Housing Authority apartment for at least 3 years after you finish your sentence.
  • Two convictions for jumping a turnstile in the subway make a greencard holder deportable.
  • Simple possession of a marijuana cigarette cuts off federal student loans for a year.

Finding out the Consequences

Your lawyer is supposed to tell you about the collateral consequences that come with any conviction, but your lawyer many not know about all the civil penalties.

Use the Collateral Consequences Calculators below to get an idea of what else can happen to you if you are convicted of a crime.

You can also look for information by choosing a topic from the Collateral Consequences menu.


Getting Rights Back

After a criminal conviction, sometimes you can get relief from the collateral consequences of your conviction by getting a special certificate. Visit Getting Rights Back.

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