Felonies are the most serious level of criminal offenses here in Texas. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are considered to be lesser offenses and punishment tends to reflect his in terms of severity. Those facing felony convictions stand to do time in state prison or jail as well as incurring hefty fines. A felony can range from a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $100, all the way up to a capital felony that is punishable by either death or life imprisonment without the chance for parole. The other felony rankings are first, second, and third degree felonies.
If you are concerned about the incarceration time or the substantial fees, there are other things you should be worried about if you are facing a potential conviction of a felony crime. Felons stand to face the impact of their convictions far after the time served or the fines have been paid. In addition to the stigma felons face, they also jeopardize employment and housing prospects with the permanent criminal record they carry with them. Furthermore, there are important civil liberties Texas felons stand to lose. We will discuss the loss of rights felons in Texas face in more detail.
What Rights Does a Felon Lose in Texas?
Felons are stripped of their right to vote. Texas state law does not allow a convicted felon to regain voting rights until they have completed their sentence, parole, or probation. Upon completion, Texas automatically restores the right to vote, but you will have to register to vote again and you may be asked to provide evidence that your sentence has been completed.
In Texas, felons also lose their right to bear arms. Once convicted of a felony, you cannot legally carry a firearm. The tricky part comes in the way that Texas law permits a felon to possess a firearm if he or she has gone five years without a felony conviction, but federal law makes it illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm unless the felon has been pardoned. While there is this tension between state and federal law, federal law is given priority which means that it is almost impossible for a convicted felon to legally purchase a firearm.
If you are convicted of a felony, you also lose the right to serve on a jury panel. This right may be restored if you receive a pardon. The same is also true of losing your right to hold public office after a felony conviction. Furthermore, a felony conviction will disqualify you from holding certain professions. The conviction will stay on your record for life and will come up anytime someone performs a background check.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
Are you facing a felony charge? This can really be the fight for your life. A felony conviction will follow you far into the future. The dedicated criminal defense team at Navarrete & Schwartz is here to do everything we can from preventing a criminal charge turning into a criminal conviction. We are proud to serve the residents of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.