How does a criminal conviction impact constitutional rights?

How does a criminal conviction impact constitutional rights?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Criminal convictions can have serious consequences beyond serving time in prison. Depending upon the type and severity of the crime, they can also impact a person’s constitutional rights.

If you or someone you know is facing federal charges, it is important to understand the potential consequences of a conviction and how to restore constitutional rights after serving a sentence.

Voting rights

In Alabama, individuals convicted of crimes of moral turpitude lose their right to vote while incarcerated. Some crimes require only that those convicted apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to Register to Vote to restore voting rights upon release. Other types of convictions require going through a pardon process. Only those who commit treason or impeachable offenses permanently lose their voting rights.

Second Amendment rights

Alabama Code 13A-11-72 prohibits individuals convicted of a crime of violence from possessing a firearm. Crimes of violence include murder, robbery and assault. Individuals convicted of these offenses lose their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Jury duty

According to Alabama Code Section 12-16-60, individuals convicted of a felony cannot serve on a jury. However, it is often possible for a person to regain this right through the pardon process.

Public office

The Alabama Attorney General confirmed that according to Alabama Code 36-2-1, a person required to serve time inside the state penitentiary may not subsequently hold state office. The law does not prevent those convicted from running for office, just from holding the office if they win the election.

Criminal convictions can have far-reaching consequences for individuals. However, it is possible to restore many civil rights by applying for a pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board reviews applications and decides whether to restore rights based on the specific circumstances of individual cases.