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One potential consequence of a drug felony conviction

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Drug Charges

An Illinois drug felony conviction can have a long-term negative impact on your life. The amount of drugs and the type of drugs involved have no bearing on the consequences. The fact that you even have a drug conviction is what works against you.

Criminal record

A conviction for drug charges means you’ll have a criminal record. Your criminal record usually lasts indefinitely. An exception is if, for some reason, your criminal record is sealed or completely erased. Having a criminal record can affect your opportunities involving employment and housing.

Denial of state benefits

The 1996 welfare reform law put a lifetime ban on some state benefits for anyone with a drug felony conviction. The benefits affected include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

States can opt out of one or both of the bans. There’s also an option for states to make their own version of the ban by modifying the conditions. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia opted out of both bans. An Illinois resident with a drug felony conviction remains eligible for SNAP and TANF.

Child custody

A drug conviction can affect your rights concerning your children. If you have a custody arrangement, the courts might modify that arrangement following your conviction. You could possibly lose all visitation rights. You could also lose custody of the child if you have full custody.

Social stigma

There’s often a social stigma associated with having a drug conviction. Even after you’ve done your time, people might treat you differently. This can affect your personal and professional relationships, and your standing in your community.

The consequences of a drug conviction aren’t necessarily the same for everyone. However, those mentioned above are a possibility.