Felonies are some of the most serious crimes of which a person can be convicted. Felonies remain on your criminal record for life and often cause headaches long after you have served your sentence.
The consequences of a felony conviction may haunt former defendants for years after their sentences are complete. In Pennsylvania, a felony conviction might cost you your right to own a firearm, depending on what kind of felony is involved. Your felony conviction will also show up on any background checks. Potential employers often use background checks to screen job applicants, but background checks are also used for housing and education opportunities. If you want to start a new career that requires professional licensing, a felony conviction might hinder your ambitions as some licenses require clean criminal records. If old felony convictions are holding you back, our legal team can help you work on getting them removed from your record.
Felony convictions may have consequences that outlast any prison term. Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you remove these convictions from your record so you can reach your full potential. For a free evaluation, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.
How a Felony Conviction Affects Your Gun Rights in Philadelphia
After a person is convicted of a felony, they might lose their gun rights. Ordinarily, people have a right to own a firearm as long as they follow the proper legal channels to obtain one and are properly licensed. However, people with certain felony convictions are prohibited from owning a firearm under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(a) even if they meet all the necessary criteria for ownership.
While not all felonies make a person ineligible to own a gun, the statute lists many different felony convictions that bar gun ownership. Violent felonies like murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and rape will cost you your gun rights even after your sentence is complete. Other crimes that may be charged as misdemeanors can also cost you your gun rights if they were charged as felonies in your case.
Someone with prior felonies caught with a firearm might face new charges even if they purchased the firearm through legal channels. If you are convicted, you may face charges for second-degree felonies. If you have been convicted of this violation before, your charges might be upgraded to first-degree felonies. If you are unsure whether your criminal history makes you ineligible for gun ownership, our Bucks County criminal defense attorneys can review your case and advise you on what to do.
Background Checks and Felony Convictions in Philadelphia
You might be subject to a background check from the workforce to housing to education. If you were previously convicted of a felony, it will likely appear in a background check and might cost you valuable opportunities. If you are worried about your past convictions showing up in a background check, our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can advise you of your rights.
When applying for jobs, employers may run background checks on candidates to make sure they have clean criminal records. Certain jobs might require clean criminal backgrounds, while others might suggest but not require it. Usually, a background check is run only after you have been offered a job, but the job is contingent on the outcome of the background check. It is not unusual for people with felony convictions to lose job opportunities because of their records.
Landlords may also run background checks similar to the way potential employers may. Felony convictions related to fraud might be a red flag for landlords who do not want to risk having a tenant skip out on rent.
Universities often ask potential students to indicate whether they have any felony convictions on their applications. While some states restrict this practice, others do not, and many schools will reject applicants with criminal histories. Having a felony conviction might mean you do not have access to important educational opportunities.
How Felony Convictions Affect Professional Licensing in Philadelphia
If you have a professional license and are facing felony convictions, your license and livelihood might be in jeopardy. Our Delaware County criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges and hopefully avoid a conviction and the loss of any licenses.
Some professional licenses require license-holders to be free of felony convictions. For example, attorneys convicted of felonies might lose their license to practice law. If you already have a conviction on your record and are looking to obtain a new license, you might have difficulty. While some licensing boards might allow you to explain your side of the story before deciding whether to revoke your license, others will revoke it immediately.
If you are facing felony charges but have not yet been convicted, we can help you get a plea deal to avoid a felony conviction. We can help you negotiate a plea deal in which you plead guilty to lesser misdemeanors and avoid having a felony on your record. This might allow you to keep any professional licenses you have.
Getting a Felony Conviction Removed from Your Criminal Record in Philadelphia
There may be several ways to remove a felony conviction from your criminal record. One possible method is to have your record expunged. If your felony conviction cannot be expunged, our Montgomery County criminal defense attorneys can help you try to get a pardon.
Expungement processes vary from state to state, and Pennsylvania employs strict expungement laws. Generally, a person may be eligible for expungement if they were convicted as a juvenile and have now reached the age of 21. Additionally, a person may be eligible if they are at least 70 years old and have been free from arrest or prosecution for the last 10 years.
People convicted of lesser misdemeanor offenses may have their records automatically expunged under Pennsylvania’s clean slate laws, but this does not apply to felonies. Unfortunately, expunging a felony is very difficult.
If you cannot have your felony expunged, our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can work to get you pardoned. Pardons are not easily obtained, and you have a better chance of being pardoned if your felony was for a non-violent or relatively minor offense. Serious violent felonies are unlikely to be pardoned. Also, the longer you have remained free of arrest and criminal prosecution, the better. The pardon process may take some time and is not guaranteed, but it might be the only way to remove your felony conviction from your record.
Call Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help
If an old felony conviction is holding you back, our Philadelphia criminal attorneys can help you try to remove it from your record. For a free case review, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.