Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What Rights Can a Convicted Felon Lose?

What Rights Can a Convicted Felon Lose?

Being convicted of a felony carries with it more than possible incarceration, probation, and/or fines. It can also result in the loss of several rights.

For instance, you could be prohibited from:

  • Serving as a juror in civil or criminal cases. Jury service is one of the pillars of the judicial system. Having a panel of peers hear evidence and decide cases maintains the checks and balances of the justice process.
  • Voting. Being convicted of a felony means you won't have the right to make your voice heard in elections, thus not having a say in who gets elected to public office.
  • Holding office. If you're convicted of a felony, you cannot serve the public in an official capacity. Therefore, you may be restricted from pursuing a career you find rewarding and fulfilling.
  • Possessing or purchasing a firearm. As a convicted felon, you will be banned from the right to bear arms, limiting your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones should an emergency arise.

Are Rights Lost Forever?

Losing certain rights because of a felony conviction can be frustrating and be mentally taxing, as it can be difficult to see those around you enjoying the things you cannot. Thankfully, the loss of rights is not permanent. Depending on your circumstances, your rights may be automatically restored or you can pursue legal avenues to be relieved of the bans.

The loss of the right to vote or hold office is automatically restored after you've completed your sentence. (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6613). This means that you served your term of incarceration, as well as probation or parole. Additionally, you must have paid all fines, fees, and restitution ordered by the court.

The firearm and jury service bans, on the other hand, do not lift after you've completed your sentence. You must wait a certain length of time after your conviction to have this right restored.

A person cannot serve on a jury if they have been convicted of a felony 10 years prior. (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 43-158).

If you were found guilty of a person felony or drug felony, your loss of firearm rights will be for 10 years. For non-person offenses, the prohibition is for 5 years. However, if a firearm was used in the commission of the crime, the restriction is for 10 years. (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6304).

In Kansas, a person disqualified from having a firearm yet knowingly possesses one can be charged with a severity level 8 non-person felony. If they are convicted, they may face incarceration and/or fines.

It may be possible to decrease the amount of time you are prohibited from having a firearm by seeking a pardon. This relief is granted by the governor and requires that you present a compelling case as to why disabilities should be removed. You are eligible for a pardon only if you were convicted of a state crime. Federal felonies cannot be forgiven through this method.

It's important to note that although a pardon can restore your rights, it will not erase the conviction from your record. You must file a petition for an expungement to be considered for that type of relief.

If you've been charged with a felony, our Kansas City criminal defense lawyers can provide the legal representation you need to fight it. Call Stein Law, LLC at (913) 583-0465 or contact us online today.

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