Collateral Consequences

A criminal conviction in Kentucky has many consequences. The first consequences you face are the criminal penalties for a conviction. However, you could also face collateral consequences that indefinitely impact your life.

What Are the Penalties for a Criminal Conviction in Kentucky?

What Are the Penalties for a Criminal Conviction in Kentucky?

The criminal penalties you face depend on many factors, such as the criminal offense and whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The existence of aggravating factors or mitigating circumstances and your criminal history can also impact the severity of the criminal penalties. The use of a weapon and whether or not you cooperated with the police are also factors that impact your sentence.

The potential punishments for a criminal conviction in Kentucky include:

  • Fines
  • Jailtime
  • Probation
  • Restitution to victims
  • Home detention
  • Suspended or revoked driver’s license
  • Drug and/or alcohol treatment
  • Community Service

In some cases, diversion or pre-trail intervention may be available. If so, you may avoid jail time as part of your sentence.

Your criminal sentence may have numerous short-term and long-term consequences. Hiring an experienced Louisville criminal defense lawyer can help minimize your sentence with an effective defense strategy.

What Are Collateral Consequences for a Criminal Conviction in Louisville, KY?

Collateral consequences refer to the impacts a criminal conviction can have on your life aside from the penalties imposed by the court. Examples include:

Your Employment

A criminal conviction could result in the loss of a professional license. Your professional license could be suspended, or the conviction could prevent you from obtaining one. The exact consequence depends on the type of professional license and the rules set by the licensing board. The Kentucky Department of Professional Licensing regulates 25 professions within the state.

A criminal history can also impact your job hunt. A conviction could come up on a criminal background check, preventing employment in some industries.

Your Family

A criminal conviction can impact your family. For example, a criminal history could negatively impact the outcome of a child custody case. Criminal convictions often come up in family court matters.

Your criminal conviction could have negative impacts on your family members. Some family members may not want to associate with a convicted criminal. Therefore, a conviction could severely impact family relationships.

Public Benefits

A common collateral consequence of a criminal conviction is eligibility for public benefits. Some public benefits are lost upon a conviction of certain crimes. That means you could lose critical support for you and your family. You may be unable to qualify for student loans, food stamps, and other aid.

Immigration Status

If you are not a citizen of the United States, being convicted of a crime could seriously impact your immigration status. Some crimes could result in immediate deportation if you are convicted. Crimes of moral turpitude often result in deportation if you are convicted.

Examples of crimes of moral turpitude include:

  • Murder
  • Drug crimes
  • Spousal abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Child abuse
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Voluntary manslaughter

This list is not a complete list of all crimes that could result in deportation or other impacts on your immigration status. A criminal conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can also prevent you from re-entering the United States, even if you are attempting to re-enter the country legally.


You could lose the right to own and possess firearms for some criminal convictions. For example, if you are convicted of domestic violence, the judge could strip you of your right to possess firearms. The criminal conviction dictates how long you lose your right to own guns.

Voting Rights

You lose your voting rights while serving time in jail or prison. If you are convicted of a felony, your voting rights might be restored after you complete your jail sentence, parole, and/or probation. If you have a pending felony charge, you are not eligible to register to vote.

However, some felony crimes cause you to lose your voting rights permanently. You could petition the governor to have your voting rights resorted after you complete your sentence.

Can I Have My Criminal Conviction Expunged in Kentucky?

A Louisville criminal defense lawyer can review your case to determine whether the conviction can be expunged. Expungement erases part of your criminal record, which could reduce the risk of collateral consequences.

You may be eligible for expungement if certain conditions are met. Only certain crimes can be expunged. Typically, non-violent misdemeanors and Class D felonies are eligible for expungement in Kentucky.

Schedule a Free Case Review With an Experienced Louisville Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are concerned about the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, you can talk to a Louisville criminal defense lawyer at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers during a free consultation. The best way to protect your rights is to have sound legal advice about your options and rights before you enter a guilty plea in court or agree to a plea bargain. Give us a call at (502) 371-7000.