What Rights Do Convicted Felons Lose?


When a person is convicted of committing a crime, they not only lose their freedom, other civil rights are often taken away. This will vary depending on the state where a felon resides. However, there are some common rights that a felon will lose. Here are just a few:

– Voting rights
– Serving on a jury
– Traveling abroad
– Owning firearms or ammunition
– Certain types of employment
– Parental rights

Unable To Vote

In most states, if a person commits a felony, they will also lose the right to vote. Even after parole, many felons who have served their time are denied this right.

It really depends on the state where a felon lives — in some states, a felon will lose this right for life, and in other states, voting may be allowed after a specific period of time.

Jury Duty

Often, committing a felony will also exclude a person from serving on a jury. Typically, the names of individuals chosen for jury duty are taken from people who have registered to vote. Since most felons are unable to vote, they don’t get picked for this service.

However, in some states, a felon may have their rights reinstated. Once they serve their time and complete their probation or have their records expunged, they may be able to serve as a juror.

Traveling Out Of The Country

After being convicted of a felony, a person can acquire a United States passport. However, travel restrictions may be levied by countries outside of the United States. Some areas will deny admission if a person has committed a felony.

Owning Guns And Ammunition

Firearms dealers who sell guns in most states are required to run a background check on individuals before selling them guns. In many states, a felon will be unable to own a gun or ammunition. There is a chance that they can own a firearm, but passing the process to own a gun is not easy. It also depends on the area of jurisdiction and the type of crime committed.

Types Of Employment

Unfortunately, if a person commits a felony, it may be difficult for them to get a job at many businesses. It is legal for an employer to discriminate against a person who has been convicted of a felony. In most cases, if a professional license is required for a job, a felon will not be able to serve in the position. This includes jobs that involve teachers, law enforcement agencies, United States Armed Forces or childcare professionals.

Lost Parental Rights

A felony conviction will also make it tough for a person to gain custody of their children in a divorce. A judge will probably see that as a red flag and deny parental rights.

In addition to losing these rights, receiving a felony conviction may also mean that a person is unable to acquire a lease, obtain a loan or file official paperwork.