Is There Life After A Felony?
So you’ve been to court and now have a felony conviction – depending on the degree of the felony and a number of factors that play into the crime involvement, circumstances will change. While a mistakes are made, a felony on your record could leave your life open to a variety of problems depending on the severity of the crime.
Kurt Hyllestad, a 41 year veteran cop and detective at the street level, mentions how felony convictions can affect not only employment and firearm possession but also other things you may not necessarily think about – such as licensing and certifications, voting and federal benefits. Hyllestad also mentions that “you can suffer the indignities of DNA collection, registering as a drug or sex offender for life and parole or probation searches at the worst possible times”.
One convicted felon describes the hardship he ran into when trying to secure employment after serving his sentence: After I got out I was able to move out of state and “start over” in Ohio. At this point I had 3 years clean, my family had accepted me back, and I had a new attitude on life. I was going to go out to Ohio, get a job, and pay my way back through school. And then I started looking for a job….
It’s amazing how quickly you get disqualified from jobs just by checking that little box. At first it seemed like no one wanted to take a chance on a convicted felon. Anyone that has a criminal record knows exactly what I’m talking about. I applied for around 80 jobs in my first month. This was hard for me to do, as I no longer had a license, and I certainly didn’t have a car. I did, eventually, manage to get a few interviews. Most of these jobs were fast food, but it was something.”
Luckily for this man, seven years later he has found happiness despite the challenge of overcoming the stigma and strain of a felony. While it may not be easy at first, take heart that there are many that have taken your path before and have successfully re-entered society to live a happy life. There are many California felony re-entry programs that are there to help you along the way.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.