A felony conviction in Toronto attracts serious consequences like serving jail time, paying hefty fines, limiting future employment opportunities, making it difficult to obtain housing, and affecting relationships with family and friends.
If facing a felony conviction, you want to understand the potential consequences and work with the best criminal lawyer in Toronto to explore your legal options.
Difficulty Obtaining a Job
A criminal record could make it difficult to obtain a job in Toronto and the larger Ontario. Many employers require criminal background checks as part of the application process and could avoid hiring individuals with certain types of convictions. Even if an employer does not conduct a criminal background check, an individual with a felony conviction is less likely to be hired than someone without a criminal record.
Some professions in Ontario, Canada, are regulated by professional organizations that have their own rules about individuals with criminal records. For example, the Ontario College of Teachers may refuse to issue a teaching certificate to an individual with certain types of convictions. It can be difficult to find a job if your felony conviction is for a violent crime or sex offence. Some employers may be hesitant to hire individuals with these types of convictions out of concern for the safety of their employees or customers.
Difficulty Renting Housing
In Toronto, many landlords require applicants to disclose their criminal history on rental applications and may not rent to individuals with certain types of convictions. Your potential landlord could be hesitant to rent to you if you have violent or sex offence convictions out of concern for the safety of their other tenants.
If you have a criminal record and are having difficulty finding housing, some organizations may be able to help. The Ontario Human Rights Commission, for example, provides information about human rights and renting.
Many felons are required to register as sex offenders. This requirement makes it difficult to find housing because many property owners do not want to rent to registered sex offenders. Sex offenders may be required to live in specific areas, such as areas away from schools or other places where children congregate.
Impact of a Criminal Record on Family and Friends
In addition to the practical consequences of a criminal record, an individual with a felony conviction may also face social stigma. Family and friends may view you differently after being convicted of a crime. You may have difficulty maintaining relationships or forming new ones.
It is important to remember that you are not alone if you have a criminal record. Many resources and organizations can help you navigate the challenges of having a felony conviction.
Negative Immigration Consequences
A foreign national convicted of a crime in Canada may face negative immigration consequences due to their conviction. These consequences can include:
- Inadmissibility to Canada – A foreign national convicted of a crime in Canada may be deemed inadmissible to Canada and denied entry at the border.
- Loss of permanent resident status – A permanent resident convicted of a crime in Canada may lose their permanent resident status and be removed from the country.
- Deportation – A foreign national convicted of a crime in Canada may be deported back to their home country.
Individuals with certain convictions may be denied entry into Canada or other countries. If you plan to travel outside of Canada, it is also important to check the country’s entry requirements you are visiting. This can limit travel opportunities for both work and leisure. For example, individuals with convictions for drug offences may be denied entry into the United States. You may need to apply for a waiver or other permission to be allowed into the country.
If you have a professional license, such as a license to practice law or medicine, a felony conviction can lead to denial or suspension of the license. In special cases, you can obtain a waiver that would allow you to keep your license. However, this is not always possible, and a felony conviction can significantly impact your ability to work in your chosen profession.
Limited Educational Opportunities
A felony conviction can limit your educational opportunities. Many colleges and universities require applicants to disclose their criminal history on admissions applications and may not admit individuals with felonies on their records. In some cases, financial aid may also be unavailable to individuals with felony convictions.
Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction
A felony conviction can have many collateral consequences, which are consequences that are not part of the criminal sentence. For example, individuals with felony convictions may be ineligible to vote, serve on a jury, or possess firearms. Additionally, a felony conviction can make obtaining a passport or travelling to certain countries difficult.
The collateral consequences of a felony conviction can be significant and long-lasting. Understand the potential collateral consequences before pleading guilty to a felony charge. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you understand the potential collateral consequences and explore your legal options.