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  4.  – Collateral consequences of a Florida felony conviction

Collateral consequences of a Florida felony conviction

Understanding the collateral consequences faced by felony offenders in Florida is important for anyone navigating the criminal justice system. Collateral consequences are the secondary penalties and restrictions that extend beyond the direct legal consequences of a felony conviction.

These consequences can impact various aspects of a person’s life long after he or she completes a sentence.

Employment restrictions

Felony convictions can create barriers to employment. Many employers conduct background checks on job applicants. Many also hesitate to hire individuals with felony records. Certain professions may have strict licensing requirements that disqualify those with felonies. Felony offenders may also become ineligible for certain types of employment. For example, they may not be able to get government positions or jobs requiring security clearances.

Housing challenges

Finding suitable housing can be hard for felony offenders. Landlords and property management companies often conduct background checks on prospective tenants. Many of them may deny housing to those with felony convictions. Even if they secure housing, felony offenders may face discrimination and stigma from neighbors and community members. This can lead to social isolation and difficulty reintegrating into society.

Civic rights losses

Felony convictions can also result in the loss of certain civic rights.  For example, those convicted may lose the right to vote, serve on a jury and hold public office. While some may gain these rights back upon completion of their sentence, others may face permanent disenfranchisement. The loss of civic rights can have major implications for felony offenders’ participation in democratic processes.

Addressing these collateral consequences faced by those with felonies requires comprehensive reform efforts that reduce recidivism and promote rehabilitation. Understanding and addressing these collateral consequences allows the state to work towards a more equitable and fair criminal justice system.