What Are Collateral Consequences?


Are you facing criminal charges in the Greater Denver Area? If you are convicted (found guilty) of a crime, you fill face the standard court-ordered penalties, such as fines, probation, community service, and jail time. However, most convictions mean more than that. They lead to additional consequences that do not involve court penalties – these are called “collateral consequences” and it will all make sense in a minute.

When someone is convicted of a crime, they face the usual court-ordered penalties, but they’ll also face other ramifications that are not related to the courts. For example, they may have extreme difficulty renting or leasing a house or an apartment. They may be denied a professional or occupational license, and they may be turned down for jobs. These are “collateral consequences” and believe me, they are real.

Collateral consequences do not include incarceration, criminal restitution, fines, driver license suspensions, probation, parole, community service, supervised release, fines, or forfeiture of assets. Instead, they involve the bad things that happen when your background is checked and your criminal record is discovered by employers, landlords, and licensing boards.

Relief from Collateral Consequences

The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can seriously impact your life. They typically make it hard to find housing and a good job. Fortunately, some offenders qualify for relief from collateral consequences when:

  1. They are placed on probation; OR
  2. They are placed on a community corrections program; OR
  3. They have an alternative sentencing agreement (e.g. diversion, work release, or a deferred sentence.

An offender is not eligible for relief from collateral consequences if he or she has been convicted of a felony that involved a victim who suffered permanent disability, or if they have been convicted of a violent crime, or if they had to register as a sex offender.

Related: Possession of Weapons by Previous Offenders

Are you looking for a Denver criminal defense lawyer to defend you or help you seek relief from collateral consequences? If so, contact my firm for a free consultation.