If you have been charged with a drug-related felony, there is a good chance you have two primary concerns. First, you are probably wondering if you will have to serve time in jail, and if so, for how long. And second, you may be concerned about potential fines that may be part of your sentence and whether or not you will be able to pay them.
Truthfully, both of those things are worth worrying about. Jail time and significant financial loss due to fines are both serious consequences. But focusing on just those two things doesn’t give you the full picture of what is at stake when you are facing felony charges related to drugs.
Let’s take a look at other areas of your life that could be negatively affected by a felony drug conviction.
A judge is always going to take into account the best interest of the child or children in question when making a ruling about custody issues. A key consideration that could help make the case that you should maintain custody rights is whether you are undergoing (or have undergone) treatment for a substance use disorder.
Generally speaking, employers cannot ask you about your criminal record or encounters with law enforcement. But there is an exception for a felony conviction (and for some misdemeanors, too). Employers cannot automatically refuse to hire you due to a felony conviction, but that conviction won’t be doing you any favors.
Like employers, housing providers cannot automatically refuse to rent to you because of a felony conviction, but they can consider whether the circumstances surrounding your conviction are relevant to whether or not they should rent to you. And if the crime involved meth production and took place in federally-assisted housing, you can never be admitted to federally-assisted housing again.
Getting a Loan
While banks may be more interested in your credit rating than your criminal convictions, if you are a student receiving federal funds when you are convicted of a drug-related felony, your financial aid can be suspended for a full year from the date of your conviction.
Massachusetts has strict gun laws that include a provision that convicted felons are unable to buy or possess firearms in the state. Crimes involving drugs are explicitly called out in the law as a reason why a person may be disallowed from owning a gun.
Your Relationships and Reputation
In a certain sense, everything we have talked about so far relates to your overall reputation and the relationships you may or may not be able to build (or rebuild) after a felony drug conviction. Relationships with employers, landlords, friends, and even family can be undermined by a conviction. It can be hard for many people to look past a conviction—even if you have done everything possible to turn your life around.
For all of these reasons, it is absolutely essential that you hire a defense attorney to represent you after you have been charged with a crime involving drugs.
Nate Amendola Sees the Whole Picture
When you are hiring someone to serve as your defense attorney, you want someone who sees you as a person—not just another client. And you want someone who recognizes that each case is different and that more is at stake than questions of jail time and fines.
Nate Amendola is a lawyer whose passion is a holistic approach to criminal defense. You are not just a number on a tally of his win/loss record in court. Instead, he recognizes that you are an individual who may need more than simple legal advice. If you have been arrested for a drug-related crime in Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Barnstable, or Nantucket County, contact us today for a free case review so that we can go to work for you.