Collateral consequence is the negative impact a record of arrest or criminal conviction has on a career. An example of collateral consequence is a pre-pharmacy student found in possession of a small amount of marijuana. The charge is insignificant, but it has a huge impact on career. Criminal conviction usually carries a remarkably light sentence, a small fine, some community service, and no jail.
That’s not the point. That’s not what matters. You want to avoid a record of arrest or conviction itself from impacting your career. So that’s our focus. To keep a clean record. It’s done by knowing how charges and laws interrelate. It’s accomplished through negotiation and settlement. The goal is to avoid a record in the first place, or to preserve earliest possible expungement.
The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.
— Jeremy Bentham