A convicted felon is a person who has been found guilty of committing a felony. The term usually refers to persons who have already finished serving their prison sentence and have re-integrated into the community. However, felony charges tend to stay on a person’s record much longer than misdemeanor charges. They are also somewhat more difficult to have cleared or expunged from one’s record.
Persons must usually indicate whether they have been convicted of a felony when applying for certain jobs, housing, and on other types of applications.
Sometimes, but not always, a convicted felon may have some of their civil rights restricted. This depends on state laws which may be very different from one another. For instance, some states restrict the voting rights of convicted felons. Other jurisdictions have laws that make it illegal for convicted felons to possess a firearm or even body armor. In other instances, a felony conviction may affect the person’s rights in terms of employment, driving privileges, child custody, child visitation, and other areas.
Some common types of felony charges include:
- Felony and assault and battery
- Grand theft charges
- Drug crimes
- Felony drunk driving/Felony DUI
- Various homicide charges
- Sexual assault crimes
In general, felony offenses, depending on whether they are state or federal charges, carry a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Federal felony charges are divided into categories and classes depending on the severity of the charge. If the felony is a crime that results in the death of another person, or in serious bodily injury, the felony charge will be more severe than others.
Certain theft and property crimes may result in felony charges if the total value of the property stolen is above a certain amount. Some states have limits as low as $300 (any theft over $300 results in a felony. There are some states have limits beginning at $1,000.
Felony charges are very serious and generally result in severe legal penalties. Penalties generally involve at least one year in prison and some criminal fines. It’s in your best interests to hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer if you need help with felony charges. An attorney can provide you with representation and legal advice during the trial process.