When you think about the consequences of a criminal conviction, the chances are that you think about the immediate possibilities, such as jail time and fines. However, the consequences of a drug crime conviction are more far-reaching. This conviction will have an impact on your life in many ways that you may never have thought.
The Restoration Rights Project explains that you will lose some rights immediately upon conviction of a crime. Some are less strict than others and apply only to certain crimes. For example, if your drug charge included a charge for a violent crime, then you may lose your right to own a firearm. You may also lose the right to obtain some professional licenses, but it is illegal for the issuing agency or party to discriminate and base a denial solely on a conviction unless it relates directly to the profession. In some cases, you cannot hold a public office.
There are also blanket rules that apply to everyone regardless of the crime. For example, you will be unable to serve on a jury for the rest of your life without a pardon. You also cannot vote until you complete all probation or parole.
You can regain your rights through different means by which you clear your record. If you have the option of going through drug court, the terms of the court will often allow you to avoid a conviction on your record. You may also seek expungement, which is going before the court and asking it to seal your criminal record. Also, in June 2020, the clean slate provision goes into effect. It will automatically seal all of your criminal records if your most recent crime is ten years old or older.