When someone is charged with a felony, they usually think of the cost in terms of a prison sentence and price of going to court. However, a felony conviction can have costs that go beyond the initial charge.

Felonies follow a person for years after their arrest and can impact life in several ways. The restrictions placed on felonies vary by state. Here are a few ways North Carolina restricts your rights after a felony conviction:

Owning a firearm

North Carolina bars felons from owning firearms for 20 years following a conviction.

You must remain law-abiding for the entire 20 years and live in North Carolina for at least a year before filing a petition to have your firearm rights restored.

This ban applies to all firearms, including hunting rifles and pistols.

Job opportunities

In North Carolina, it’s legal to ask job applicants if they’ve committed a felony. Employers can disqualify applicants based on their felony status.

Voting and public office

Anyone who has committed a felony in North Carolina needs to have citizenship restored before voting in elections.

While North Carolina automatically restores citizenship after completion of most felony charges, the state requires a certificate of relief before a felon can vote or hold public office.

This certificate is granted after a person completes his or her probation.

Serving in the Armed Forces

Crimes go against U.S. military morality standards. Each conviction gets reviewed.

Certain felony offenses are automatic dismissals when applying to the armed forces. Violent felonies, such as assault and rape, are automatically rejected by the army. The military reviews other kinds of felonies on a case-by-case basis.

These are a few ways a felony conviction can affect you throughout life. Besides the obvious penalties attached to these crimes, the hidden consequences of felonies can impact a person for years.

If convicted of a felony, you should know your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options.