When an individual is convicted of a tax crime or any crime, there is more than just jail time to worry about. Whether facing trial or negotiating a plea agreement, attorneys and defendants should consider the additional penalties that may result from a conviction.
The direct consequences of a criminal conviction are incarceration, fines or probation. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction are additional penalties and restrictions that stem from the conviction. For example, civil and state penalties and employment limitations are often imposed on individuals who are found guilty of a crime.
Collateral consequences of a criminal conviction may include:
- Loss of employment
- Loss of professional license
- Impact on immigration status
- Voting Ban
- Restrictions on owning a firearm
- Restrictions on holding public office
- Restrictions on participating in civic activities
Professional and Employment Restrictions
A criminal conviction may impact certain professions. Typically professions that require a license from a professional or state agency will place restrictions on individuals convicted of a crime. Restrictions may range from suspensions to termination and loss of the individual’s license.
Professions that maybe impacted by a criminal conviction include:
- Doctors, Nurses and other Health Care Professionals
- Real Estate Brokers
- Civil Servants (Fireman, Policeman, Teachers)
- Licensed Contractors
- Financial Advisors
- Any profession that requires a license issued by a state agency (Board of Medicine) or Self Regulating Organization (FINRA, AICPA)
Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction for Certified Public Accountant
For certified professional accountants (C.P.A.), there are additional collateral consequences of a criminal conviction for tax evasion, tax fraud, and other crimes, including:
- Unwanted publicity
- Disciplinary action by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or state board of accountancy
- Civil lawsuits from client or third parties
Collateral Consequences by State
Collateral consequences can vary by state. The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section has prepared a National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction by State http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/
Prepare for Collateral Consequences
In addition to preparing a defense strategy for a criminal tax case, you and your clients should consider the possible collateral consequences of a conviction. A criminal conviction extends beyond jail time and can significantly impact your client’s professional and personal life.
Please note that this content was originally published on the Boston Tax Attorney Blog. This content is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or contain legal advice. You should consult an attorney about your specific case.