If convicted of a felony, serving your probation or prison sentence is not the only consequence.
A criminal conviction stays on your record for life and affects your life after you serve your sentence.
You may apply for a pardon after generally 10 years and a set aside of the conviction is available in Nebraska.
However a set aside does not remove the conviction from your record but may benefit employment prospects.
A felony conviction includes the loss of some basic rights of citizenship, employment, and education assistance through student loans.
It also changes how society treats you. Convicted felons are often discriminated against and carry a negative social stigma.
A felony conviction may also affect your mental health. Convicted felons often suffer from emotional distancing after prison. This may make it harder to maintain relationships after prison because prisoners learn not to show their emotions.
Additionally, convicted felons frequently feel guilt and shame for their actions. They may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because prison can be a traumatic experience.
All of these consequences impact a convicted felon’s ability to lead a productive and happy life after serving their prison sentence.
If you face a felony charge, you should talk to an Omaha criminal defense attorney to understand the consequences you might face and how to best overcome them.
Basic Rights of Citizenship, To Vote and Gun Rights
If convicted of a felony in Nebraska, you lose the right to vote until two years after the completion of your sentence. You may never serve on a jury or hold public office. You also lose the right to possess a firearm.
You may also lose the right to custody of your children if convicted of a felony. In Nebraska, you may lose your parental rights if your children are in foster care for 15 of the previous 22 months. However, you won’t lose your parental rights if the children are in the care of a relative or if it is not in the best interests of the children.
Employment and Education
A felony conviction makes it harder to get a job after serving your prison sentence. Nebraska law allows employers to ask about felony convictions in job applications. Employers may also disqualify you from employment based on a felony conviction.
Furthermore, felony convictions are a barrier to obtaining occupational and professional licenses. Most of the time, convicted felons are prohibited from working in law enforcement, education, and home health care.
Additionally, if you seek higher education, a felony conviction may prevent you from receiving financial aid.
Options for Convicted Felons After Prison
Even if you have been convicted of a felony, Nebraska provides programs that can help you re-enter society after serving your prison sentence.
Nebraska has programs that help convicted felons find employment after serving their prison sentences. For example, Nebraska Workforce Development has resources for people with criminal histories to help them find employment. Additionally, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit is an incentive for employers to hire convicted felons.
Public Assistance Programs
Convicted felons may also qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP).
Qualification depends on the type and number of felony convictions. For example, a person is not eligible if they have three or more felony convictions for the possession or use of a controlled substance. However, a person with less than three felony convictions for the possession or use of a controlled substance can qualify if he or she completes a substance abuse program.
Convicted felons may also receive Medicaid benefits upon completing their prison sentence.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
If charged with a felony, a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand felony conviction consequences. A lawyer can talk to you about your options for defending yourself against a felony charge. Additionally, a criminal defense attorney gives you the best shot at avoiding the consequences of a felony conviction. To fight for your freedom, contact Tom Petersen at Petersen Criminal Defense Law today to schedule your free consultation.
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