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Collateral consequences are legal and regulatory sanctions and restrictions that limit or prohibit people with criminal records from accessing employment, occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other opportunities. More About this Project »

Search Collateral Consequences

Use these categories to search and view details of policies relating to collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.

KEYWORDS

Keywords indicate the specific rights, benefits, opportunities, and fields of employment and licensure affected.

JURISDICTION

The NICCC compiles consequences from all 50 states, the federal system, and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

CONSEQUENCE TYPE

Consequence Types indicate the broad rights, benefits, and opportunities affected.

The information about collateral consequences accessible through this website is solely for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

What are collateral consequences?

Collateral consequences are legal and regulatory restrictions that limit or prohibit people convicted of crimes from accessing employment, business and occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other rights, benefits, and opportunities.

Some collateral consequences serve a legitimate public safety or regulatory function, such as keeping firearms out of the hands of people convicted of violent offenses, prohibiting people convicted of assault or physical abuse from working with children or the elderly, or barring people convicted of fraud from positions of public trust. Others are directly related to a particular crime, such as registration requirements for sex offenders or driver’s license restrictions for people convicted of serious traffic offenses. But some collateral consequences apply without regard to the relationship between the crime and opportunity being restricted, such as the revocation of a business license after conviction of any felony. Frequently consequences also apply without consideration of the time passed between the conviction and the opportunity being sought or the person’s rehabilitation efforts since the conviction.

Featured Resources

Barriers to Work National Report cover imageAfter the Sentence, More Consequences: A National Report of Barriers to Work
The Council of State Governments Justice Center (2021)

A complex web of local, state, and federal statutes and regulations—known as collateral consequences of conviction—can make it all but impossible for some people with criminal records to truly rebuild their lives. This report from The Council of State Governments Justice Center presents a national snapshot as well as national and state-by-state overviews of the nearly 30,000 state and federal consequences of conviction that directly block people from being hired or create barriers to obtaining occupational licenses essential for certain jobs. 

National Snapshot | State Snapshots | National Report 

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