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Collateral Consequences

What are collateral consequences?

Collateral consequences of criminal conviction, also known as the “Four C’s,” are legal sanctions imposed upon people in addition to the direct consequences of a conviction, such as jail time, fines and probation. Examples of collateral consequences including losing the right to vote, deportation for immigrants (even those who hold permanent resident status), and ineligibility to receive public funds such as student loans or welfare benefits.

May I leave Minnesota while the case is pending?

In most felony cases, you are not allowed to leave the state while the case is pending without court permission. In most non-felonies cases, you are allowed to leave. To be safe, always check with your lawyer or your probation officer.

May I leave Minnesota when my case is over?

In most felony charges, you are not allowed to leave the state while on probation without court or probation approval. In most non-felony cases, you are allowed to leave the state. To be safe, always check with your lawyer or your probation officer.

May I possess a gun while my case is pending?

Under federal law if you are under indictment (this includes a state charge by complaint) for a felony, you may not possess a gun until you are no longer under indictment.

May I possess a gun after my case is over?

All felony convictions and non-felony convictions of domestic assault prohibit the possession of a gun. The length of time varies so you should consult your lawyer.

Am I required to register as a sex offender?

Many charges of a sexual nature require the defendant to register as a sex offender. Consult your lawyer for which crimes have such requirements and for the length of time you are required to report.

Will I lose my driver's license?

Many offenses that are traffic related require a revocation, suspension, and/or cancellation of your driver's license. Contact your lawyer immediately after you have had contact with the authorities involving a traffic offense, even if you have not yet received criminal charges. There are time limits to challenging the revocation of your driver's license.

Will I lose my job?

It depends on your job. Many professional positions that require licensor may be affected by certain convictions. You should discuss with your lawyer what you do for a living, so that it can be determined if your employment will be affected.

What is forfeiture?

Forfeiture is when the state takes away property used in the commission of a crime or that was purchased with the proceeds of a crime. If you have property taken and are given a forfeiture notice, contact your lawyer immediately as there are strict time constraints for challenging the forfeiture.

Will I be deported or can I become a citizen?

Deportation is one of the most serious collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. Conviction of a felony may trigger deportation and certain other non-felonies will as well. Discuss your immigration status with your lawyer who will likely consult with an expert in the field of immigration to determine the best possible resolution of your case that will be less likely to lead to immigration consequences.

Visit Minnesota Immigration Lawyer (working exclusively in the area of immigration law, green card, work visas, family sponsorship, K-1 fiance visas, and deportation defense) for more information.

May I go to Canada and other foreign countries?

Every country has different rules about allowing those with criminal convictions into their country. It is best to contact the American Consulate in the country you are planning to visit well in advance of your visit. Canada, for example, will not allow you into the country with a criminal conviction as little as a misdemeanor. There are ways to get an exemption from the Canadian government, but it is complicated and you should look into this long before attempting to cross the border into Canada.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, get a free criminal defense consultation from Carolyn Agin Schmidt. For a free consultation, fill out a consultation request form or call 763-591-0552 for more information or to make an appointment.