Ways A Felony Conviction Can Affect Your Life

Have you ever considered the long-term impact of a felony conviction on your life? If you believe that completing your felony sentence marks the end of your challenges, think again.

Being convicted of a felony can have lasting consequences that go far beyond the initial legal penalties. These consequences can include limitations on employment opportunities and restrictions on civil rights. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which a felony conviction can affect your life.

What Is A Felony?

In the state of Texas, crimes are categorized based on their seriousness into felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Felonies are the most severe and carry the harshest penalties.

A felony charge usually involves a violent act that is deemed a threat to society. The classification of a crime as a felony depends on state laws and the specific circumstances of the case. However, certain offenses, such as drug crimes, homicide, property crimes, robbery, burglary, serious sexual crimes, violent crimes, and white-collar crimes, are typically considered felonies in most states.

Imprisonment for a Felony Conviction

If you’re convicted of a felony in Texas, you could face a sentence of a year or longer in prison. Prisons, designed for longer-term stays, have stricter security measures due to the seriousness of the inmates’ offenses. Texas categorizes felony crimes into different types, each carrying its own set of penalties.

Third-degree Felony

  • A person could receive a sentence of two to 10 years in a state prison for this crime.

Second-degree Felony

  • This offense could lead to a punishment of two to 20 years in a state prison.

First-degree Felony

  • The punishment could range from five to 99 years in prison or life, depending on the charges.

Capital Felony

  • A convicted felon might get a life prison sentence with no chance for parole or be punished by a death sentence.

Consequences of a Felony Conviction

A felony conviction results in a permanent criminal record. Besides possible imprisonment, the conviction has long-term consequences that will affect your life even after you’ve completed your sentence, especially in the following areas:

Employment Opportunities

Having a felony on your record can make getting a job tough. Employers are wary of hiring people with criminal histories. They might find out about your record through a background check.

It’s important to be honest, unless your conviction is expunged. Even with a felony, you can find jobs in Texas. Many have found success despite their pasts.

Driving Privileges 

The type of felony you’re charged with or convicted of can affect your ability to drive. You might lose your driver’s license temporarily or permanently. After you’re released, you might have to pay for and install an ignition interlock device, take a drug education course, and your driver’s license could be suspended or taken away.

Immigration Status

Foreigners can be deported or denied green cards if they’re convicted of misdemeanors or felonies. Facing accusations of these crimes can result in immigration problems.

Child Custody and Adoption

In Texas, individuals convicted of a felony involving domestic violence are ineligible to adopt a child. You’re also ineligible to adopt a child if you’ve committed an alcohol-related offense under the Texas Controlled Substances Act in the past ten years or allowed a child access to a firearm.

Professional Licenses

Convicted felons typically cannot obtain most professional licenses unless they expunge their records. High-paying careers like law, medicine, and finance require a license, as do fields such as cosmetology, real estate, and pharmacology. However, felons might still get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) by attending truck driving school. Large trucking companies may be less likely to hire felons, but small or mid-size companies might consider them, especially if they’re first-time offenders who have been out of prison for several years.


If you’re in jail for a felony, you can’t vote in national or state elections. However, under Texas Election Code 11.002, individuals can regain voting rights through a pardon or discharge of their felony sentence. However, such occurrences are rare.


A felony conviction in Texas, or even a Class A misdemeanor, could result in the loss of your right to own a firearm. The Texas Department of Public Safety won’t issue you a license to carry a firearm in these situations.

Personal Relationships

Unfortunately, some people may always feel uncomfortable forming relationships with those with criminal records, especially felonies. This emotional impact can affect your ability to comply with post-release conditions.

What To Do if Convicted of Felony?

If you have a felony conviction, it’s important to grasp the consequences and work to reduce them. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Seek legal advice. A criminal defense attorney can explain your rights and help minimize the impact of your conviction.
  2. Take responsibility: Accepting your actions can lessen the consequences. Apologize to those affected and make amends.
  3. Focus on rehabilitation: Participate in programs like drug or alcohol treatment to show your commitment to change and improve your chances for leniency.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

A felony conviction in Texas can have far-reaching consequences that affect various aspects of your life, from employment opportunities to personal relationships. Understanding these consequences and taking proactive steps, such as seeking legal advice and focusing on rehabilitation, can help mitigate their impact. If you’re facing felony charges, it’s crucial to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the legal process and work to protect your rights.