A felon is a person who has been convicted and charged with a felony crime. Felonies are generally more serious crimes, with penalties involving a prison sentence of greater than one year, and possible criminal fines. Some common examples of felony offenses include:
- Sale and distribution of drugs
- Certain types of violent crimes (such as assault with a deadly weapon)
- Sexual assault crimes
- Failing to inform a partner of one’s HIV status
- Grand theft crimes
- Some types of white collar crimes
The term "felon" usually only applies to someone who has been formally tried and convicted of a felony. There is a major difference between a felony arrest and a felony charge. A person who is only arrested on suspicion of a felony has not yet been proven guilty.
What Is Felony Expungement?
Felony charges can remain on a person’s criminal record for long periods of time, and area difficult to have erased or removed. However, felony expungement may be available for certain persons who have been previously convicted of a felon. The requirements usually involve a waiting period of 5-10 years after their last conviction. Also, the person generally needs a good record after their last conviction (that is, no more criminal charges after the last felony offense).
Do Felons Have Restricted Rights?
In some cases, being charged with a felony can have certain effects on the person’s civil rights. For instance, some states prohibit felons from possessing a weapon or body armor, especially if the person was convicted of a violent crime. Other states may also restrict the person’s voting rights. These types of restrictions may vary according to state criminal statutes.
Also, felony convictions can also affect other areas of the person’s life, such as child custody and visitation rights, and the ability to secure certain types of jobs. However, some of these rights may be restored once the felon is done serving their sentence.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Felony Issues?
You may need to hire a lawyer if you need assistance with the felony laws in your state, or with any other criminal matters you may be facing. A qualified criminal lawyer can help you understand how the laws may be affecting your individual rights. Also, your attorney can represent you in court if you need to make an appearance before a judge.