Felony charges are reserved for only the most serious crimes. As a result, receiving a felony conviction often comes with significant consequences.
However, legal penalties aren't the only things felony offenders have to worry about. Being convicted of a felony can change your life in various ways even once you serve your sentence or pay your fine—which is what we're exploring in today's blog.
Voting & Owning a Gun Is More Difficult for Felons
In 2018, the Florida state constitution was amended to give felons the right to vote. However, on September 11th, 2020, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that Floridians convicted of a felony must pay court fines and fees before registering to vote. The ruling overturned a 2019 decision by a lower court, which found that requiring Floridian felons to pay fees and fines was unconstitutional on the grounds it supported a "pay-to-vote system."
In other words, if you are a convicted felon and intend to vote in the 2020 presidential election, you need to pay any court fines and fees you owe before registering. The deadline for voter registration in Florida is October 5th.
Additionally, felons in Florida cannot own firearms, including muzzle loading guns, "unless the convicted felon has had his/her civil rights restored and firearm authority restored by the state's Clemency Board or the gun qualified as an antique firearm," according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Being aware of how a felony conviction restricts your rights can help you avoid stress and navigate the legal system where you live with more ease.
Receiving a Felony Conviction Could Affect Your Career
If you're convicted of a felony, you may lose professional licenses you have that help you perform your job.
Additionally, finding employment with a felony on your record can be challenging. Many employers run background checks, and will be weary of hiring candidates with a criminal record—particularly for a serious charge, like a violent or sex crime. Expunging a felony from a record is also very difficult, which can further impede felons looking for employment.
Felons don't just have a harder time finding a job—many also find it more difficult to further their education. Certain types of convictions can make it harder to receive financial aid from a school, and inmates aren't eligible for Pell grants after receiving a conviction. As a result, it can be challenging for felons to get the education they may need to offset a criminal record.
Finding Housing can Be a Challenge
Last but not least, one side-effect of receiving a felony conviction that often gets glossed over is how much harder it can make finding housing. Like employers, many landlords also request background checks for prospective residents. Having a felony on your record can make it difficult to find a place to live.
At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we work with clients to advocate for their rights and fight against felony charges. To schedule a consultation and receive the legal counsel you deserve, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.