Loss of rights with a felony conviction

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2020 | Drug Crimes

Many drug crimes result in a misdemeanor. Sentences and consequences are generally less severe than a felony. Possession of certain drugs or the amount of the drug, however, can lead to felony charges.

When someone faces a felony conviction, the first thing that comes to mind is jail time and a hefty fine. However, these are not the only consequences. Those convicted of a felony crime also have certain rights taken away from them. These rights and the timing of their removal vary from state to state.

Voting rights and civic duties

According to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, those currently in prison for a felony conviction or are not scheduled for release before the next election cannot register or vote. Those convicted of a felony can never run for public office. A felony conviction may also prohibit jury duty.


Employers have the right not to hire an applicant because of a felony conviction. There are also some professions that a convicted felon can never do, such as teaching, child care, military service and law enforcement.

International travel

While some felons can get a passport approved and leave the country legally, the country they are going to can deny them entry. Also, felons on probation must get approval from their probation officer.

Parental rights

Though a felony conviction does not take away parental or custody rights, it is not easy to win a custody case with a felony. Under Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, a felony can also restrict someone from becoming an adoptive or foster parent after a conviction.