What Rights Do Convicted Felons Have In Texas?
Like other states, Texas breaks crimes down into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanor crimes are less serious offenses punishable by up to a year in county jail. Common types of misdemeanors include DWI, disorderly conduct and prostitution. Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious crimes punishable by more than a year in the state prison. Assault and battery, homicide and robbery are examples of felony offenses.
In the State of Texas, the following rights are affected by a felony conviction:
- Right to vote - While in prison, you may not vote. However, in Texas, upon release, your right to vote is restored.
- Hold public office - If you are convicted of any type of felony - theft, assault, white-collar crime, etc. — you are barred from running for or holding public office. The only way to restore your eligibility to hold public office is to receive a full pardon.
- Jury duty - In the State of Texas, convicted felons lose the right to serve on a jury.
- Right to bear arms - If you are a convicted felon, you can restore your gun rights after the five-year period following the completion of your incarceration, parole and probation. However, you lose right to possess a firearm anywhere except in your residence.
Why you need counsel
A felony conviction is serious. Depending on the charges against you, you could face years, decades or life in prison. And, when you do get out, your life will be changed forever. An experienced San Antonio defense lawyer investigates your case, uncovers evidence, determines whether your rights have been violated and constructs a solid defense for you. In some cases, it is possible to reduce the charges from felony to misdemeanor or even have them dismissed altogether.