Obtaining Public Benefits and Loans After a Felony Charge in Illinois

A 34-year-old woman studying to get her MBA decides one night to go out drinking with her friends. She has a small business and feels that the cost of her MBA will be a benefit in the long run. She takes three shots of vodka during the night, but she spaces them out over a period of time. One of her friends who owns a car decides to drive them back to her condo from the bar. As this friend is showing signs of intoxication, the student decides to volunteer to drive the car. She does not think that she is intoxicated, and she wants to help out her friends.

The police pull them over on the way home, and the woman is arrested and convicted of a DUI. Now she and her family are concerned that her future will be negatively affected by this criminal DUI conviction. Those convicted of certain crimes in Illinois face consequences beyond jail time and paying fines. One of those consequences involves obtaining public benefits. Having a criminal background in Illinois can bar you from securing loans, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Applying for an SBA or PPP Loan After a Criminal Conviction

The Small Business Administration provides loans that are provided by private lenders and are guaranteed by the federal government. Congress recently enacted the CARES Act, which includes over $300 million in funding for “Paycheck Protection Programs” (PPP). The Small Business Administration administers these PPP loans. The CARES Act included $300 billion in funding for PPP loans. Business owners who apply for the loan and meet certain qualifications can become eligible for loan forgiveness.

One thing is for certain, however. A recent criminal conviction will make it more difficult, if not impossible, for you to obtain the loan. If the SBA needs to conduct a character evaluation, the loan process will take even longer. The best way to prevent this hassle is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to assertively represent your case.

Unfortunately, individuals with a criminal record may be barred from applying for PPP loans. The SBA typically prohibits any business from receiving new loans when the business owner/principal is on probation, parole, is currently facing a criminal charge, or is under any other type of supervision.

What about individuals who have been convicted of a crime, but who have served their time?

The SBA requires that principles be of “good character.” If an applicant has a felony conviction, certain types of misdemeanor convictions, or has any recent criminal case, they will conduct a character evaluation before issuing the loan.

Typically, if the principle of a business is still serving a jail sentence for a criminal conviction, the SBA will not grant them a loan. The language in the CARES Act indicates that the SBA might not impose all of the same eligibility requirements that they would typically impose for a small business loan. It remains to be seen exactly how the SBA will interpret all of the languages of the CARES Act.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, you are not alone. When you need a lawyer, experience matters. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson will protect your rights throughout the criminal trial process. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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