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Can I Get Back My Right to Vote after Being Convicted of a Felony? Anderson Leblanc Upland Attorney

Can I Get Back My Right to Vote after Being Convicted of a Felony?


Story By

Restoring the civil rights of an individual is not as easy as filing a petition or going to an official agency and contacting someone, because there are restrictions on these matters depending on the state as well. This means it is important to know if it is possible, how to do so and what rights may be restored if any for the individual that committed and was convicted of a felony charge.

Because once a person has been convicted of a felony, he or she is considered a felon, it is not as easy to restore the civil rights he or she previously possessed. There are federal and state laws that abolish the held constitutional rights of an individual once he or she has been convicted and sent to prison. This means that restoring any rights from before the conviction may be impossible depending on where the person lives. If it is possible may require research into the matter and contacting a lawyer so that the laws and regulations are fully comprehended along with any finer details that may elude the standard researcher.

Most rights are restricted such as the right to carry a firearm and having unlimited ability to travel anywhere. However, voting rights are dependent on jurisdiction. This means the state where the person lives will affect whether or not he or she is able to vote after being released from prison. Many of these locations have granted this permission to someone when he or she has completed probation, parole or with a predetermined amount of time has passed for him or her. But, there are still some states that have implemented a lifetime ban for voting unless the governor of the state alters this.

The Rights Based on State

There are three states in particular that do not provide for any restoral of voting rights to the individual after he or she has been convicted of a felony charge. If the person lives or resides within Virginia, Florida or Kentucky, he or she is not permitted to vote unless the governor of each corresponding state has granted this right on a case-by-case basis. Most of the rights that cannot be restored involve the ownership and use of guns, handling hazardous materials and other weapons, but in these specific states, other rights are banned for life. It may be possible to move and obtain residency within a location that may restore these to the individual, but more research may be required for this action.

One important detail is knowing how to restore the rights of the individual after he or she has been released from legal entanglements. The information to do so is different based on the state, and this means research, going online to various websites and contacting officials in the state where the ex-convict lives. Following the guides that are posted online, it may be possible to ensure these rights are restored. In most of these instances, no legal representative is necessary. The information may be printed and then filled out with a filing to the appropriate department within the state.

The Requirements Explained

Even though restoring the right to vote and hold a professional license requires state permissions and passing other demands by the state, some requirements are met through knowledge and extensive paperwork. This means knowing the dates of conviction, discharge and when incarcerated. The files attached to these events may be needed by certain officials. In some states and locations around the country, it may be possible to petition the courts for restoration of voting, possession of a gun and similar rights. Some of these matters necessitate the person explaining why. This could be a simple answer of protection, casting a vote for future collective choosing political parties and similar aspects.

Legal Aspects of Restoring Rights

Because a person that has been imprisoned at some point has been stripped of his or her rights, it is important to ensure the state where the person lives and works provides some form of restoration. In some instances, this may mean contacting a lawyer so that the individual is aware of these specifics. However, an expert in legal matters may be needed so that the right officials are contacted, so the appropriate forms have been filled out and to ensure the right types of answers are given in the courtroom for the presiding judge when an explanation is necessary to restore the voting rights.

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Story by was one of the very first online law and government information sites. It was founded in January of 1995 by Lex Mundi, a large network of independent law firms. The objective of is to make law, government and related professional information easily and freely accessible to the legal profession, businesses, and consumers.


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