A criminal conviction has both direct and collateral consequences. A direct consequence of a criminal conviction is a fine, jail, or prison sentence ordered by a judge. A collateral consequence is a civil penalty or restriction associated with a criminal conviction. If you hold a professional license (medical, legal, government), plan to apply for student loans, or are not a U.S. citizen, you should be even more inclined to talk to your attorney about the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.
Some offenses that may trigger a collateral consequences include misdemeanors involving moral turpitude, crimes involving fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or money laundering, crimes of violence, weapons offenses, public corruption offenses, election-related offenses, motor vehicle offenses, child support offenses and felonies.
If you suffer a criminal conviction with a collateral consequence you may be obligated to report the conviction to your professional organization on a license or certificate application. It is critical that you carefully review your initial or renewal application before signing off on it. Furthermore, prosecutors may be ethically obligated to report such conviction to your professional license or certificate organization.
For more information on collateral consequences for misdemeanor and felony convictions in Illinois the American Bar Association has created an online and searchable database. The ABA National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (“NICCC”) is a project of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section (“CJS”). It is an online database of the collateral consequences of criminal convictions contained in the laws and regulations of the federal, state and territorial jurisdictions of the United States. Check out the website: http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/
More information can be found at the Consequence Resource Center: http://ccresourcecenter.org