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, means you cannot live in a New York City Housing Authority apartment for at least 3 years after you finish your sentence.

Some minor convictions can have serious immigration consequences. Visit How an Arrest or Conviction Can Affect Immigration for more information about possible immigration consequences.

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.

For more information, choose a topic on the Collateral Consequences page.

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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