Collateral consequences are legal and regulatory limitations that affect employment, occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other rights, benefits, and opportunities for those convicted of crimes. The American Bar Association (ABA) currently estimates over 45,000 state and federal collateral consequences of conviction exist nationwide.[1] Collateral consequences apply without regard to the relationship between the crime and opportunity being restricted, such as immigration issues or the revocation of a business license after conviction of any felony. Frequently, consequences also apply without consideration of the time passed between the conviction and the opportunity being sought or the person’s rehabilitation efforts since the conviction. While a conviction on the surface might seem like a cut and dry, consequence fits the crime punishment, in reality the ripples of an individual’s involvement with the criminal justice system span far and wide and permeate, in some way or another, almost every aspect of a person’s daily life.

  1. Criminal Justice Section. n.d. “Collateral Consequences of Conviction Project.” American Bar. Accessed January 30, 2021.