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As we know, criminal activity has consequences. What may not be understood is the collateral consequences of criminal activity. Besides the possibility of imprisonment, fine and the tarnish of a conviction, conviction can also jeopardize or derail your trade or profession.

I recently participated in a webinar that discussed collateral consequences of convictions, not only for felonies, but also misdemeanors. Sometimes it can be a very minor issue, such as underage drinking, a small amount of pot, minor theft (under $150) and the like which can deny you a license, whether as a professional or in a business or a trade.

Illustrations included any misdemeanor denying an electrical apprentice license in the State of Texas or opening certain types of businesses such as a mortgage broker and even an escort service. These denials of licensing can incur even if a conviction is overturned, as, for technical purposes, the conviction is still on the record.

The moral of the story is, before pleading to any criminal conduct, felony or misdemeanor, consider the collateral consequences of doing so.