What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Federal Conviction in Texas?

Conviction of a crime can bring prison time and stiff fines but there are collateral consequences that can have a permanent impact on your life.


Collateral consequences may be difficult to quantify, but they most assuredly should not be overlooked when charged with a crime at either the state or federal level. Even if you serve your time and pay fines for a federal offense, obstacles remain. Here’s what you need to know about the aftermath.


Defining Collateral Consequences in Texas


Collateral consequences for federal convictions may not be on your radar while you undergo a federal prosecution. Many people are unaware of the consequences that may arise from a conviction. Once they discover them, it may be too late to remedy them.


Here are some of the collateral consequences of a federal conviction:


Civil Rights


A very important civil right can be taken away as a consequence of a federal conviction: jury service. You cannot serve on a federal grand jury for any reason. The only remedy is to secure a federal pardon.




After serving your time for a federal conviction, you may consider returning to school to better your life. Unfortunately, those convicted of certain federal crimes cannot obtain federal assistance for tuition.


This restriction applies to those convicted of:


Possession of a controlled substance

Sale of a controlled substance


After a first or second conviction, you can become eligible again after a wait period. However, the third conviction for possession or second conviction for sale will bar you from financial aid indefinitely.




Prospective employers will see a federal conviction on your record if they perform a background check. But that’s not the only way a federal conviction can hinder employment.


If you’re trying to obtain certain licensures, you may encounter roadblocks. It depends on the conviction. If you’re denied a license, a judicial review of the licensing agency’s decision can be conducted. 


For example, if you were under 21 when convicted of simple possession of a controlled substance, the charge can be expunged from your record. This means it is not visible in a background check. You should discuss relief options with an attorney if you find it difficult to obtain employment after conviction.


A felony conviction in federal court also disqualifies you to enlist in the armed forces.


Right to Bear Arms


If you are convicted in federal court or even indicted without a conviction, you are prohibited from selling firearms or ammunition. 


A felony conviction in federal court or a misdemeanor domestic violence crime are also a bafr to possession of a firearm.


Travel Restrictions


Many people aren’t aware of the collateral consequences that affect travel. Those with a federal drug offense involving international border crossing may not be issued a passport. And any existing passport can be revoked.


If you’re facing collateral consequences from a federal crime, reach out to an attorney. They will help you understand your options to resolve the consequences and get your life back on track.