What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction in Louisiana?

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If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Louisiana, you likely already know what legal penalties you face if convicted. Depending on the specific offense, these penalties likely include time in prison and major fines.

But that’s just the beginning of the penalties to expect from a sex crime conviction. There are also collateral consequences to consider, which are additional penalties that can significantly affect your life even after you’re released from prison and done paying your fines.

When it comes to sex crimes in Louisiana, most of the collateral consequences stem from the requirement to register as a sex offender, which can have a significant impact on where you can live, what job you can have, and which legal rights you retain. Take a look at how a sex crime conviction can affect your life, and then hire a criminal defense attorney for a chance to avoid these collateral consequences.

How Will Your Conviction Affect Your Housing Plans?

One of the main ways that sex crime convictions can affect your life involves where you can live. When you register as a sex offender, you are not allowed to live close to a park, school, or recreational center, which can severely limit your housing options.

In most cases, when a landlord runs a background check and finds out an applicant is on the sex offender registry or has any sex crimes on their criminal record, they’re hesitant to rent to them. At the same time, sex offenders do not qualify for public housing or any other government assistance with finding and paying for a home. So, you will be on your own when it comes to finding a house you can afford in an area you’re allowed to live in.

If you find housing, you must contact the local police department in your new city to update them on your location. You’ll also need to notify all neighbors that you’re a sex offender, which can cause them to avoid you or even harass you in the hopes that you move out. Finally, if you’re an immigrant, you could be deported after being convicted of a sex crime.

Do Sex Crimes Affect Your Ability to Work?

Another collateral consequence of a sex crime conviction involves your job. First, you will likely lose your current job if you have to spend time in prison. Once you’re released from prison, you will find it challenging to get hired again. After all, many employers conduct a criminal background check and will see your conviction on your criminal record.

Even if you end up on probation rather than in prison, you could still lose your current job if you’re required to have a professional license in your role. This is because many licensing boards can revoke the license of anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.

The inability to hold a professional license can bar you from working in certain industries, greatly reducing your job options. This is especially true when it comes to jobs involving minors, as sex offenders are typically prohibited from working around children. So, if you’re a teacher, school receptionist, coach, daycare employee, or librarian, you’ll have to switch to a different field to make ends meet.

What Other Aspects of Your Life Will Be Affected by Your Conviction?

Housing and employment are two major aspects of life that will be negatively affected if you’re convicted of a sex crime. But the collateral consequences don’t end there. You will also not be permitted to get certain government benefits, including welfare or financial aid for college.

In fact, you might find it difficult to get admitted to college with a serious felony on your record, further harming your efforts to find a job and support yourself. Also, depending on your specific crime, you won’t have the right to buy or own a gun or vote in elections.

Clearly, the collateral consequences of a sex crime conviction can be devastating. That’s why you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will present a solid defense against your sex crime charges. Contact Keith T. Whiddon, Attorney at Law, LLC at 318-594-3592 to discuss your legal rights after your arrest.

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