When a judge or jury convicts you of a felony, you’ll inevitably serve jail time or a period of probation. You could be ripped away from your family and friends and find yourself limited in things available to you. If you were pursuing your education, your degree is now delayed or may become almost impossible to obtain. In short, criminal convictions are nothing to shrug at, and their effects can haunt you for the rest of your life. For example, unless the record is expunged, the state automatically takes certain privileges and rights you enjoyed before your conviction. If you’d like to know some of the rights you lose in a criminal conviction in Oklahoma, continue reading this article.
Voting Rights May Be Lost
To date, more than 50,000 Oklahomans can’t register to vote because of a felony conviction. If you believe that any criminal conviction strips you of your voting right permanently, someone has misinformed you. For one, you may still vote if a judge or jury convicts you of a misdemeanor crime. For two, Oklahoma’s voting law only requires you to abstain from voting during the length of your sentence. In other words, if you’re sentenced to 35 years on a felony, you may vote once your sentence is complete.
Bear in mind that an early release or commutation doesn’t restore your voting rights early. However long the judge sentenced you to is the time that must pass before you can vote again. This is true even if you’re on probation or parole. This is just one reason why it’s imperative you consult with experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys to reduce the chances of suffering a conviction. A good defense attorney can get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor or get your case dismissed or even help you get a pardon.
Gun Ownership Rights
As gun-friendly a state as Oklahoma is, the law still prohibits you from owning or selling a firearm if a judge or jury has convicted you of a felony crime. While you are on probation for a misdemeanor you will also not be able to have a gun. This is a term of your probation. Gun ownership is also suspended if you have a protective order issued against you. This includes if you have been convicted of felony in Oklahoma or any other state in the country. Your guns rights can only be restored if the state issues you a pardon and expungement.
For years, different politicians have argued over banning the box, and political groups have debated fervently regarding whether a conviction should keep someone from getting a job. One side argues that you’ve served your time, and it’s in society’s best interest for you to be gainfully employed. The other side argues that an employer’s awareness of your criminal record allows them to better serve and protect the work environment.
In the end, at least in Oklahoma, the law forbids public employers from asking you about any prior arrests or convictions. Unfortunately, this is not true for private employers, nor of any employer where the state law requires them to ask. Therefore, some public employers can still ask about your criminal record. Additionally some can refuse to hire you if you’re convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.
Kania Law – Okmulgee Lawyers Are Here For You
Now that you know some of the rights you lose in a criminal conviction in Okmulgee, consider hiring a seasoned, compassionate Okmulgee defense lawyers. Although the state restores some rights post-conviction and sentence completion, it’s never an easy process. Its also important to understand that if you plead guilty and get probation what you plead to and for how long you are on probation impacts everything. We have decades of experience, and we’ve litigated thousands of criminal cases. While we can’t guarantee you a specific outcome, we promise to fight diligently to safeguard your freedoms. So, don’t hesitate. Call us today at (918) 621-8083 or contact us online for a free consultation.