Having a felony conviction on your record can have severe consequences for how you live your life moving forward. Even release from incarceration is not the fresh start that many of our clients expect. There is a lot of legal baggage, especially when it comes to restoring your legal rights.
At Capetillo Law Firm, we meet with clients that have to deal with a felony conviction on their criminal records to discuss reinstated rights, as well as some rights a convicted felon might lose in Sugar Land, Texas.
Highly rated criminal defense attorney Adam Capetillo also explains how we can work together to reestablish some of the rights you lost because of a felony conviction.
Let’s first look at some rights a convicted felon will lose in Sugar Land, TX, before explaining a few of the rights you can get back by following Texas mandated guidelines.
Do You Have the Right to Hold a Public Office?
The State of Texas prohibits convicted felons from running for public office, as well as prohibits elected officials from appointing convicted felons to board positions. The only way to waive the no public office provision of Texas criminal defense statutes is for the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States to issue a pardon. A pardon wipes a felony conviction off a criminal record.
A Convicted Felon Cannot Serve on Juries
If you have received a felony conviction, and the conviction remains on your criminal record, you will never be able to serve on a jury. You will not even receive a summons to appear for jury selection. The rationale behind this loss of right is the State of Texas does not want bias tainting jury deliberations.
Does the State Restore Your Right to Own a Firearm?
Convicted felons must wait five years after a sentence is fully completed to regain the right to own a firearm in Texas. State law states convicted felons that qualify for the five-year litmus test can only store a legally purchased firearm inside of their residences. A convicted felon can use a firearm only for self-protection. He or she cannot use the weapon for hunting or for participating in target practice. A full pardon issued by the Texas Governor is the only way a convicted felon can waive the five-year waiting period for owning a firearm.
Legal Consequences for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
According to the Texas Penal Code, a conviction for the unlawful possession of a firearm results in a third-degree felony that carries a prison sentence of between two and 10 years. For a convicted felon, a second felony conviction can increase the time spent in jail. You also might receive a fine that cannot exceed $10,000. Because of the seriousness of a second felony conviction, it is imperative that anyone facing an unlawful possession of a firearm charge seek immediate legal counsel from a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney.
Like many legal terms, “possession” is a vague term that several Texas courts have tried to define. The legal definition in Texas for “possession” is the following: “Possession means actual care, custody, control or management. Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly obtains or receives the thing possessed or is aware of his control of the thing for a sufficient time to permit him to terminate his control.”
Felony Conviction and Voter Registration in Sugar Land, Texas
A movement is sweeping across the United States, and it has dramatically changed the way lawmakers treat convicted felons when it comes to voter registration. In Texas, a convicted felon must complete every part of his or her sentence, which includes parole, probation, and confinement, to qualify for voter registration. Texas law applies to convictions, but not to indictments and prosecutions. For example, a Texas resident who was in the middle of a criminal trial would still enjoy the right to vote.
How to Regain Your Right to Vote in Texas
Convicted felons do not face a difficult process for regaining the right to vote in Texas. Every resident of the Lone Star State becomes eligible to vote at the age of 18. To regain the automatic right to vote granted by Texas law for everyone that is at least 18 years old, a convicted felon must present documentation that demonstrates he or she has fulfilled every sentencing requirement. In some instances, a convicted felon might have to show he or she is mentally competent.
You can pick up a voter registration form at several public venues, including the nearest public library or the County Voters Registrar’s Office.
Contact Capetillo Law Firm
Getting your life back after serving out a full felony sentence can be a difficult process. This is especially true for convicted felons that want to own firearms and register to vote. If you are a convicted felon and you need some answers to legal questions, reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands how to help convicted felons regain some form of a normal life.
Schedule a free initial consultation today with Sugar Land, TX criminal defense attorney Adam Capetillo. You can contact the Capetillo Law firm by calling (346) 249-5544 or by submitting the online form.