Facing criminal charges is always a serious matter, but if you are facing felony charges, many of your rights are at stake. In addition to criminal lawyer fees, a fine, jail time and other penalties related to your specific charge, you may also lose your:
- Right to serve on a jury;
- Right to vote in local, state and federal elections;
- Right to keep and bear arms;
- Right to serve in the military;
- And the right to live in certain types of housing.
If you are facing felony charges in Connecticut, contact Melocowsky & Melocowsky. Call 860-633-6356 to speak with a Hartford criminal defense attorney about your situation, and read on to learn about five potential consequences of a felony conviction:
- Loss of Right to Serve on a Jury
According to the Connecticut General Assembly, a convicted felon cannot serve on a jury in state court for seven years or while he or she remains a defendant in a pending case involving felony charges. In addition, a convicted felon can only serve on a federal jury if the governor or president of the United States restores the individual’s civil rights under 28 U.S.C. Section 1865(b)(5).
- Loss of Voting Rights
People who have a felony conviction on their record lose the right to vote in federal elections, and in Connecticut, state law also revokes their rights to vote in state and local elections, to hold public office, or to run for office; however, it is possible to have these rights restored under certain circumstances.
- Loss of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
A prior federal felony conviction revokes an individual’s rights to obtain, receive, transport or possess firearms or ammunition. The loss of the right to keep and bear arms is permanent unless the individual receives a presidential pardon, an expungement of the conviction occurs, or the federal governing bodies restore his or her civil rights; however, there is no procedure in place to restore a federal felon’s rights, and the other two scenarios are fairly unlikely.
- Loss of the Right to Serve in the Military
A convicted felon cannot enlist in the Armed Forces. In addition, a conviction can revoke certain professional licensures and permits, and employers can ask job applicants about their criminal histories. Because of anti-discrimination laws, though, there are some restrictions on how an employer can use any information regarding a candidate’s criminal background.
- Loss of the Right to Live in Certain Types of Housing
Under Connecticut law, a landlord has the right to evict a tenant whom the courts have convicted of a federal, state or local violation that could potentially affect the health, safety or welfare of other residents. Likewise, public housing bodies have the right to evict tenants with certain felony convictions under federal and state laws.
If you are facing felony charges, it should be clear by now that there is a lot at stake. Don’t risk losing your rights because you failed to hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Hartford.
Instead, turn to Melocowsky & Melocowsky. Call 860-633-6356 to schedule a consultation with a Hartford criminal lawyer.