During an election, many wonder what rights a convicted felon has, especially when it comes to voting. In a heated election, each vote makes a difference, and understanding the rights that a convicted felon has is important.
Each state deals with a felony conviction and their rights different from the other. This causes the laws to vary drastically from state to state. For states like Maine and Vermont, a felon never loses their right to vote. That means even when a person is in prison they can still cast a vote.
However, in states like Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and Virginia felons and ex-felons will lose the right to vote permanently. For other states, the laws can fall more in the middle.
Felon Voting Laws in Michigan
For the State of Michigan, a felony conviction makes an individual ineligible to vote only while they are incarcerated. Once a person is released from prison they are able to have their voting rights automatically restored.
Individuals who are on parole or probation are eligible to cast a vote in an election. However, many felons believe they have completely lost their rights to vote, but it is important for an ex-offender to re-register to vote.
Check to see what each state’s law is regarding felons and voting, you can check here.
What is a Michigan Felony?
Felonies are the highest forms of punishment in Michigan. They are a serious crime that an individual can face up to one year in prison. For the state of Michigan there are eight different classes of felonies. They are labeled from class A to class H. Class A being the most serious crimes in Michigan and can be punishable up to any number of years in prison up to life.
Additional Consequences for a Felony Charge
A felony charge does give a person a permanent criminal record. Having a felony on a record not only can impact voting rights, it will impact other rights. For example, in the state of Michigan a person convicted of a felony will lose the right to possess firearms, eligibility for federal assistance such as grants and loans. In addition, a convicted felon loss the right to serve jury duty, joining the arm forces.
What is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor charge means the offenses are less serious than a felony. The crime is typically based on the seriousness of the injury caused to another person, cash value, or amount of drugs. If a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor, they are still eligible to vote, unless they are currently incarcerated.
Seek Profession Legal Advice
Facing a criminal charge can come with a lot of fear and questions. Having an experienced defense attorney to talk to can help make a huge difference. If you are facing a serious charge such as felony or a misdemeanor and you are concerned about your rights, speak to an experienced defense attorney. It is our goal at The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC to make sure that we protect you and your rights so that you do not have any unjust punishments.
Let’s start fighting for your rights.