What Rights Do I Lose If I’m Convicted of a Felony?

When a person is convicted of a felony in California, they lose many of the important rights that most of us take for granted, even after they have finished serving their prison sentence. This substantially hinders felons from becoming productive members of society because they are barred from participating in some of the fundamental aspects of our democracy. Below, we explain what rights you lose if you are convicted of a felony in the state of California.

Felons Can't Own Guns

Although the Second Amendment grants all U.S. citizens the right to own firearms, a felony conviction results in a lifetime ban from owning or using a gun in the state of California. The same goes for individuals who were convicted of a felony in another state and moved to California after they were released from prison. A felony conviction will strip you of your Second Amendment rights.

Employment Obstacles

While felons retain their right to seek employment, it is a major hassle to get hired when an employer sees a felony on your record. Employers can deny employment opportunities based on your criminal record, and since most employers run background checks, this issue becomes a common hurdle for felons looking for gainful employment. Felons also can’t hold government-based jobs, like law enforcement, or obtain professional licenses that are necessary for certain jobs, like a doctor or childcare provider.

Felons Can't Travel Internationally

Although felons can legally possess a passport, they are often denied entry into many countries that require a visa for travelers. Felons are also often denied when they apply for visas.

Felons Can Lose Custody of Their Children

When a person is convicted of a felony, the court might give custody of their children to their spouse, the child’s other parent, or another relative to ensure the child receives proper care and attention. Because courts often view felons as poor influences on children, they might not return custody or visitation rights after the felon is released from prison.

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we take great pride in fighting for the rights of clients facing felony charges. We have more than 50 years of combined experience and the extensive resources you need on your side to pursue justice. Call (800) 462-7160 to request a case consultation today.