The Cost of Being Convicted of a Crime – What It Does To Your Future Prospects


While the immediate consequences of being convicted of a crime are readily apparent – jail time, fines, etc. – there may be consequences that only come to light later on. If you are facing criminal charges in court, it may seem like the easiest option to simply angle for a plea bargain. Before you dismiss your other options and plead guilty, it’s important to understand what effects doing so can have on your future in the state of Ohio.

Voting Privileges

State law determines whether or not someone retains their right to vote after a felony conviction, and in Ohio, Revised Code 3502.21(A) dictates that someone’s voter registration will be cancelled if they are convicted for a felony. Revised Code 2961.01 removes the right of an incarcerated felon to vote, but that right is restored once they are released from prison, though they will need to register again.

Right to Bear Arms

Federal law prohibits someone convicted of a felony from knowingly having, acquiring, using, or carrying any firearm or ammunition. The right to bear arms can be restored through an application to the appropriate court of common pleas.

Public Office

Someone convicted of a felony in Ohio is may not hold an office of “honor, trust or profit,” which includes positions as a prosecutor or peace officer, public official or employee positions, state boards or commissions, and state or local elective offices. If someone is convicted for treason, they are not eligible to hold any public office in the U.S. under federal law.

The Ability to Serve on a Jury

Someone convicted of a felony in Ohio is prohibited from serving on a state or federal grand or petit jury.

Serving as a Witness for a Document

Under Revised Code 2961.01(B) anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from “circulat[ing] or serv[ing] as a witness for the signing of any declaration of candidacy and petition, voter registration application, or nominating, initiative, referendum, or recall petition.”


If someone is convicted of a felony and is not a resident of the U.S., the court may have the right to deport them. Before accepting a guilty plea or a plea of no contest to any offense other than a minor misdemeanor, judges in Ohio are required to warn defendants of this policy.

Military Benefits or Service

Under federal law, no one convicted of a felony may enlist in any branch of the armed forces in the U.S., unless authorized by the Secretary of Defense. Anyone convicted of treason, mutiny, sabotage, or rendering assistance to the enemy are not eligible to receive any form of veteran’s benefits, including disability, medical, pension, or the right to be buried in a national cemetery.

If you were accused of committing a crime, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side before you head to court. Koffel Brininger Nesbitt is one of the leading criminal defense law firms in Ohio, and we are prepared to handle your case quickly and professionally in order to provide a strong legal defense. The sooner you contact us, the more we will be able to assist you in your case. Contact us today through our website, or give us a call at (614) 675-4845 to set up a meeting with one of our attorneys.

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