If you are convicted of a felony, the consequences can be wide-ranging and long-lasting. You may face difficulties with maintaining or obtaining employment; it can be hard to rent a home; and you can temporarily or permanently lose important rights, like the right to vote or own a gun. In this article, we’ll discuss the major ways that a felony conviction can continue to impact your life throughout the years.
Employment and Education
Indiana law allows employers to ask about felony convictions and to run a background check. In many cases, an employer will choose not to hire someone with a felony conviction. If you are planning to attend college, graduate school, or professional school, many colleges will revoke or refuse admission to applicants with a felony conviction. Moreover, a felony conviction can limit your ability to obtain financial aid or student loans.
A felony on your record can also prevent you from obtaining an Indiana professional license, including barbering, insurance sales, education, attorney, child care, real estate, mortgage broker, and nursing, or from obtaining a security clearance from the federal government. Indiana does place time limits on some of these restrictions, unless your conviction is for a violent crime. However, no financial institution may employ anyone with a felony involving “fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.” Felony convictions can also restrict your ability to run for or be appointed to an Indiana public office.
With a felony conviction, it can be difficult to rent a home. While federal and state laws prevent discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, or disability, no law prevents a landlord from denying your application because you have a felony conviction.
Loss of Voting Rights
In Indiana, while you are serving a sentence for a conviction, and while on probation or parole, you are banned from voting in state and federal elections. Upon completion of your sentence and any probation, your voting rights are restored.
No Possession of Firearms
Your ability to buy and own a firearm is governed by both Indiana state law and federal law. Indiana bans only the possession of hand guns for convicted felons and is less restrictive than federal law. However, federal law bans possession of any firearm if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony involving domestic violence. Your ability to buy or possess a hand gun in the state may be restored if you are able to expunge your record under Indiana’s Second Chance law.
Obviously, the consequences of a felony conviction in Indiana can be long-term and wide-ranging in impact. At Razumich & Associates, we may be able to help you avoid a felony conviction on your record. If you already have a felony conviction, contact us to see if you may be eligible to have your record expunged.