Judge Ruling on a Criminal CaseIf you are convicted of a crime in Mecklenburg County, you will have to deal with the long-term consequences of having a permanent record. This is true even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, such as DWI or reckless driving.

When facing criminal charges, you must understand the long-term ramifications of a conviction and the punishments you face if you are found guilty to make the best decisions in your criminal case. You should also immediately retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Charlotte to mount an aggressive defense.

Long-Lasting Ramifications of a Conviction

Some life-long consequences are the same for misdemeanor and felony convictions in our state. Here are the major ramifications of having a permanent criminal record that you should know about:


Depending on the questions asked on a job application or by a prospective employer, you may have to disclose your conviction. Another way an employer could find out about it is through a background check. They could decide not to interview or offer you a job due to your conviction.

A conviction on your record could exclude you from certain professions or jeopardize your professional license. For example, you could not be a truck driver if your commercial driver’s license was suspended due to a DWI.


You could have difficulty obtaining a mortgage, auto loan, or another loan if you have a permanent criminal record. The lender could view you as a high-risk borrower and deny your loan application.

Student loans

If your conviction is for possessing or selling an illegal drug, you may be ineligible for financial aid. In other situations, having a criminal conviction may not automatically exclude you from obtaining a student loan. But it may make it harder for you to qualify for one.

Rental housing

You could have difficulty finding an apartment, condo, or house to rent if you have a permanent criminal record. Your conviction is a public record and could be easily discoverable by a landlord when they do a background check, even if they do not ask about it on the rental application. Your housing options would be even more limited if you were convicted of a felony or a sex crime.

Sex Offender Registry

You must register as a sex offender on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry if you are convicted of a sex crime, such as child pornography. The registry is a public record that anyone can search. Being listed as a sex offender on the registry could severely limit your ability to find employment, housing, and more.

Immigration Status

A conviction could jeopardize your immigration status. You may lose your right to remain in the United States or to become a citizen. You could also face deportation proceedings.

Additional Long-Term Consequences of a Felony Conviction

You face additional long-term ramifications in your life if there is a felony conviction on your permanent criminal record. They include the following:

  • Citizenship rights. If your conviction is for a felony under North Carolina or another state’s laws or a federal felony, you will lose citizenship rights in North Carolina. This would have wide-reaching consequences in your life.
  • Right to vote. If you lose your citizenship rights due to a felony conviction, you will lose your right to vote in North Carolina until your citizenship rights are restored.
  • Gun ownership. You will also lose your right to own a gun if convicted of a felony. You could face possession of a firearm by a felon charges if you possess a gun and have a felony conviction on your record. This offense is a felony crime carrying harsh punishments. In some situations, you might be able to get your gun rights restored.
  • Public office. You would be disqualified from holding public office if there is a felony conviction on your record in North Carolina or another state or under federal law.
  • Juror. You cannot serve as a juror if you are convicted of a felony.
C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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