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What Rights Do I Lose As a Felon?

August 15, 2016

If you face felony charges, you are likely aware of the lengthy prison sentence and fines you may be dealt. But what many fail to realize, as a convicted felon living in America, many of your rights and freedoms will be revoked. In this blog, our Broken Arrow criminal defense attorney discusses the rights you lose as a convicted felon.


Convicted felons do not lose their right to own a passport, but there are travel restrictions foreign countries can uphold. After a felony conviction, it can be much harder to be approved for a visa.


For the duration of your incarceration, you will also lose the right to vote. Once you complete your sentence and receive parole, it can still be harder for you to vote than before. You may be banned from voting at certain times. Depending on the state you settle down in, you could be prohibited from voting for life.


If you have ever applied for a job, you are likely familiar with the practice of asking a prospective employee whether they are a convicted felon. Employers do this because they can discriminate in this manner. When you apply for a job, your employer will conduct a background check to discover what you were convicted of; some employers disqualify applicants just for checking “yes” on the felony question. In Oklahoma specifically, you are also prohibited from becoming a corporate director or bank officer, becoming a realtor, real estate appraiser or surveyor. You are also excluded from becoming a licensed professional in the following areas:

  • Law
  • Other legal system related professions
  • Most any field of medicine
  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Security
  • Marriage and domestic counseling


Gun dealers are required to run background checks on potential gun buyers before selling them a firearm. Oklahoma holds a ban on any felons purchasing or owning firearms. This means if you had previously purchased a gun, you are no longer legally able to possess them.


Convicted felons also lose the right to take advantage of many federal and state grants, federal cash assistance, SSI, food stamps and public housing. Convicted felons also lose the right to serve on a jury.


At Saint & Associates, PLLP we understand how overwhelming felony charges can be, but by retaining a highly skilled Broken Arrow criminal defense attorney, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. Initial consultations are free. Call to schedule a meeting with our criminal defense lawyer today.