What Rights Do I Lose if I Am Convicted of a Felony in Texas?


If you have been convicted of a felony criminal offense in the state of Texas, you lose some civil rights. The loss of civil rights is one of the many collateral consequences of a felony conviction under state law. First, individuals lose the right to vote while they are incarcerated following a felony conviction. This prohibition remains in effect until individuals have completed all requirements of probation and parole. After completion of these requirements, however, individuals automatically receive the right to vote again.

Individuals also cannot hold public office after they have been convicted of a felony crime. A felony conviction bars them both from running for public office in an election and from government authorities appointing them to public office. The only way to regain this civil right is to obtain a full pardon, either from the Texas governor or the U.S. President.

What Rights Do I Lose if I Am Convicted of a Felony in Texas?

Furthermore, individuals with a felony conviction may not possess or own any firearms. Nonetheless, once five years have passed from the completion of any term of incarceration, probation, and parole, you can petition for the restoration of limited rights to firearms. If you are successful in partially restoring these rights, you still only will be able to possess firearms in your home. The firearms ban also extends to the possession or ownership of body armor under Texas law.

You also cannot serve on a jury in any court proceedings in Texas after a felony conviction. You lose the right to be on a jury in both civil and criminal cases. There is no mechanism for restoring this right. This rule applies in many states and essentially excludes a significant portion of the population from serving on a jury.

If you or a family member is facing any criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 359-3362 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

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