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When a person is convicted of a felony, in most cases, the person must spend time in jail. The real punishment comes after time is served and the person is released into public life again. The trouble begins when that person tries to get a job and must go through a background check as part of the hiring process.

The Felony Conviction versus The Job Description

            The convicted person must consider what type of job he/she can apply for, that does not relate in any way to the conviction. For instance, if that person was convicted for selling and distributing drugs, it would be unlikely that the person will be hired at a pharmacy, at a hospital, or a medical clinic wherethe person has access to many different prescription drugs.

            If a person was convicted for molesting young children and is now a registered sex offender, typically he/she will not be allowed around schools, let alone being hired as a custodian, a teacher, or as a sports coach. If a person’s earlier job was in any of these positions, he/she would have to retrain to get adifferent type of job that has no access to children.

You are not allowed to vote if you are serving time in jail for a felony conviction

            Felony convictions preclude a person from enlisting in any division of the armed forces, unless they are able to get a waiver from the Secretary of Defense.

Loss of Professional Licenses

            A felony conviction may affect a professional license that the person had, particularly if the conviction was related to the profession, such as a nurse, doctor, teacher, or other position of “trust.” The licensed convicted person has a right to an administrative hearing before having the license revoked. The person must also give information about the conviction when applying for a license. A person must give information about the conviction when applying for federal jobs, particularly as a peace officer, a federal defense contractor, banks and financial institutions, or if there was a conviction for threatening to overthrow the government.

The Right to Vote

            You are not allowed to vote if you are serving time in jail for a felony conviction or if you are on parole and under community or mandatory supervision. The exception to this is if your sentence has been suspended, or if you are on probation and serving less than one year in jail as part of the probation terms. When you are released from jail and from a supervision program, your voting rights are returned, although you must re-register to vote again.

Right to Own a Firearm

            If you have a felony conviction, you lose the right to own a firearm. If the conviction was for domestic violence or a crime committed with any weapon, you lose that right for life. If the conviction is categorized as a “wobbler” that has the possibility to be reduced to a misdemeanor, you may own a firearm after the required restriction has expired.

            Call us at once if you need help with a felony conviction. (619) 234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys. In 2017, he was also selected for the Super Lawyers Top 50 in San Diego list. In 2014, he was selected as a Top Attorney by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was also named as a Top Attorney by the San Diego Business Journal in 2014.

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