A felony record is pretty hard to live with. Civilians don’t feel comfortable and safe around felons. This is why society isolates most felons. This affects their social life and social interaction. A felon loses out on a lot in his life. Due to that, some felons contact severe mental issues too.
Anyway, most civilians don’t know the exact meaning of a felony. They often misjudge convicted persons with felons. Getting convicted of a charge doesn’t make you a felon every time. Criminals with more than a year’s imprisonment are considered felons. Felony refers to serious crimes that are harmful to society. The authorities term minor offenses as misdemeanors.
Felons can’t restore numerous legal and civil rights after their imprisonment. A felon’s right-retention however depends upon his felony’s severity. The severer crime he commits, the more rights he loses. You need to understand different felony classes before proceeding further.
How Many Classes Of Felonies Are There?
The Federal government has categorized all felonies into six different classes. Each felony class comes with a certain level of punishment.
Let’s have a look at the different classes of felonies-
- Class 1 felonies include severest crimes like first-degree murder. A murder-convict with a stable mental condition is categorized as a Class 1 felon. Class 1 felonies are treated with the harshest punishments. Most Class 1 felonies are sentenced to life imprisonment or death.
- Kidnapping, burglary, extortion come under Class 2 felonies. In these cases, felons are sentenced to imprisonment of 20 years or more.
- Attempting to murder, stabbing, or shooting an individual or poisoning someone come under Class 3 felonies. The imprisonments range from five to twenty years in these cases. Also, every felon needs to pay 1 lakh USD as a fine.
- Class 4 felony category consists of embezzlement, kidnapping, prostitution, etc. The fine amount is the same in this case. The imprisonment periods for Class 4 felonies range from 2 to 10 years.
- Involuntary manslaughter, extortion, and battery are considered Class 5 felonies. A felon with a Class 5 felony should expect 5-year imprisonment. Apart from that, a fine of 2500 USD might be charged.
- Domestic violence, court order violation, animal cruelty come under this category. 1-5 years of imprisonment, along with a 2500 USD fine, are sentenced for such crimes.
Generally, felons with Class 1 felonies tend to lose more civilian rights than others. On the other side, Class 6 felons have to bear the least hassles.
What Can A Felon Not Do After His Imprisonment?
The authorities restrict a felon from doing numerous civil and social things. Firstly, the government takes away multiple rights from that individual. Apart from that, the felon also loses his reputation in society.
Let’s find out the rights that a felon loses after imprisonment-
1 A felon is not allowed to vote during his imprisonment. He loses his voting authority temporarily while he is in jail. Such a felon can’t be a member of the voting office again in his lifetime. The Federal laws hold him back from doing so. However, the individual’s voting rights get restored after his imprisonment. He needs to make sure that he met all the punishment conditions for that. Such a person needs to visit his local registration office after getting released. There he needs to show the discharge documentation. Then the voter registration office processes his voting right restoration procedure.
2 Felons are pretty lucky in terms of employment aspects. Most reputed companies aren’t enthusiastic about hiring ex-felons. However, no company can reject a candidate straight away due to his felony conviction. The Federal government has enforced this law for felons’ wellbeing. Felons are eligible for applying for government jobs too. The government and private companies however can reject their application. If a company doesn’t find a felon candidate suitable, they can reject his application. The same thing is applicable for a government job too. This is why a felon’s job opportunities are limited. Most companies don’t reject felons straightly, but they reject them in personal interview rounds. So, felons have to go through hardships from career perspectives too.
1 Some felons don’t get chances to avail themselves of public housing properties too. This becomes really troublesome for those individuals. The HUD also doesn’t consider Class 1 or Class 2 felons as tenants in public housing properties. The organization conducts background checks of applicants. They reject the tenant applicants whom they consider dangerous for other tenants. That’s pretty bad news for felons with serious criminal charges.
2 The authorities convict several higher education students for crimes like drug handling or abuse. Such criminals are not eligible for any education loans or schemes aided by the government. They also don’t receive government assistance for their careers. That’s a major drawback for a felon student indeed. Many students in the United States receive scholarships approved by the government. A felon student doesn’t get such assistance from the Federal government.
3 A felon can lose high chances of getting a felony pardon. This however completely depends upon his criminal offense and its circumstances. Getting a felony pardon reduces a felon’s burden largely. The authorities however do not grant a pardon to brutal and inhuman criminals.
4 Many professional individuals and agencies lose their licenses and permits due to their convictions.
Professionals Losing License
2 Public Accountants
6 Family support Magistrates
7 Insurance sellers
8 Public contractors
9 Medical professionals under the Department of Public Health
11 Interior designers
12 Occupational therapists
These professionals often lose their government-authorized licenses due to their criminal convictions.
- Generally, felons lose their rights to possessing or dealing with guns. This rule however varies from state to state. Some states don’t allow felons to deal with guns. Some states however are not too strict about this aspect. A felon needs to go through his state’s rules and guidelines about firearms. Gun sellers and dealers also need to verify their licenses before trading guns. Most felons don’t retain the right of selling guns after imprisonment.
- A felon cannot be a jury for his life after his imprisonment. No state in the US however allows a felon to perform jury duties.
- Traveling abroad becomes next to impossible for a felon after imprisonment. The US government provides passports to felons for interstate immigration. Authorities rarely permit felons to travel abroad. Also, most foreign countries don’t allow US felons to enter their borders. This is an unfortunate thing that a felon has to deal with.
- Acquiring parental custody becomes very hard after a felony conviction. In most cases, however, the court takes the decision against the felon parent. Thousands of felons separate from their children due to their criminal charges. This sounds very harsh, but this is that fact.
The post-conviction phase is genuinely hard to deal with. But there are chances to get a felony pardon. A felon can also re-establish his reputation in society. In case of expungement, the government wipes out his criminal records from the register. So, a felon should focus on making that possible. Thousands of felons are undergoing rehabilitation programs and turning into better persons.
Don’t, therefore, give up hope and try to be one of them. One of the best things to do is to look for opportunities and realize your rights. Never look for shortcuts and always do things legally. A second chance does not come around every time. Make sure you grab yours with both hands.