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The Rights of Convicted Felons

Convicted felons often have a stigma attached to them once they are released from prison. This only makes the task of reintegrating back into society that much more difficult.

One of the biggest obstacles facing convicted felons is finding a job. While there are some organizations available to help convicted felons with job placement, there are many more issues that felons have to deal with.

Here are some of the rights that felons often have taken away:

Right to Vote

In most states, felons lose their right to vote. However, some states have recently had ballot measures passed to restore the rights of felons to vote. A number of people believe that felons should automatically have their voting rights restored after they have served their sentence. Unfortunately, there are others that believe felons should be disenfranchised.

If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you could still have the opportunity to vote if you have your record sealed or repaired. An experienced criminal defense attorney can discuss what options you have regarding your specific charge.

Federal and State Benefits

In most cases, convicted felons are not allowed to apply for benefits such as public housing, food stamps, and even SSI. There are usually stipulations surrounding these laws. In some cases, a felon may have to wait a number of years or months before certain rights are fully restored. In some cases -- depending upon the crime -- full rights may never be restored.

Parental Rights

Depending on the type of crime that was committed and how long the sentence was for, felons can lose their parental rights. In some cases, the most they can expect to hope for is some type of visitation. In some cases, the court may render the felon's right to his or her kids null and void.

Leaving Jurisdiction

If you have been convicted of a felony, you will likely be on probation upon release. There are certain rules and regulations that must be followed to satisfy those terms. Leaving the immediate area without permission from your parole officer will likely land you right back in jail.

Carrying Firearms

Carrying a firearm illegally is another way you can wind up back in prison. Felons lose their right to carry firearms for a certain number of years, dependent on some factors. In some states, you may never regain your rights. Also, if you go to a gun dealer and attempt to purchase a firearm, you could be reported to the authorities.

If you are a felon and in need of help, it would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There are times when you could be accused of a crime and you will need that support to help you and defend your right.

The unfortunate part about being a felon is that many of the rights you previously enjoyed before your conviction are now gone. Your criminal defense attorney will give you the best advice on how to possibly get your rights reinstated and your record repaired. They can also be your advocate if you need help on other matters.

Contact Mark Raymond McDonald, Esq. at (909) 443-1599 to discuss your rights today.