Mugshot silhouette

A felony charge is considered more severe than a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or for life. Even if you spend a short time in prison, that charge will stay on your permanent record for the rest of your days. There are many ways that it can impact your day-to-day life and keep you from moving forward.

Here are the ways a felony charge can severely impact you:


Trying to find work after being charged can be a difficult task. There’s a great deal of stigma surrounding released inmates and individuals with a criminal record. When applying for a job, employers will request to view your criminal records unless stated on the application. While the human rights legislation in Canada prevents employers from discriminating based on criminal charges, there are still places of employment that avoid hiring ex-convicts. 

If you have a job or application with the government, you’ll be released from your position, or your application will get rejected. 

Renting & Leasing

Searching for a place to reside after receiving a felony charge can prove difficult. Landlords may avoid you as a potential tenant based on the severity of the charge. All landlords look into the records of each prospective tenant. The landlord has the right to refuse your application if the charge is relatively recent or is a sex offence conviction. 


During child custody hearings, a judge may request to view the criminal records of both parties. If the judge sees a criminal charge on your record, they may use it as evidence of a person’s “bad character.” This can impair your chances of receiving custody of your child and potentially hinder your visitation rights. 

Fostering & Adoption 

A criminal record can also prevent you from fostering children. If you were a foster parent at the time you received a felony charge, you could lose your fostering privileges. The same consequences apply to adopting children. Courts and childcare agencies will deny an adoption if you have a criminal record. 


Anyone in Canada that receives a criminal charge while applying for citizenship or permanent residency may face rejection. In worst cases, migrants may be deported back to their country of origin due to their felony charges. 


If you wish to travel outside of Canada, you’ll need a clean criminal record. Many countries, such as the United States, will deny you access to cross the border if you have a record. If you’re driving across the border, you won’t be able to lie about your record, as both Canada and the United States have agreed to share criminal record data.

If you try to enter Canada with a felony conviction on your record, you may be deemed criminally inadmissible and denied entry at the border. 

Driving Privileges 

Depending on the seriousness of your charge, your criminal record could result in losing your driving privileges, especially if drugs or alcohol were involved. As a result, it may be extremely hard to commute to work or travel long distances. 

Post-Secondary Education 

A criminal record can limit your chances of getting into college or university, even if it’s a misdemeanor. It may depend on the nature of your crime, but a record can also impede the possibility of receiving financial aid to attend a post-secondary institution. 

Felony charges can impact your life in a variety of negative ways. It’s paramount that you try and minimize the charges on your record. You’re going to need someone with experience in the realm of criminal defence. Contact a Winnipeg criminal lawyer today. They can review your case and will work hard to reduce or dismiss your charges.