Rights of Convicted Felons in Indiana

By Don Shepard
Upon release from incareration, felons in Indiana can vote.

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Convicted felons in Indiana lose certain rights. Some lost rights are universal, no matter the nature of the felonious offense. Others are conditional, depending on the nature of the crime. Universal areas of concern are access to social services, the right to bear arms and employment rights. While an Indiana felon is on probation or parole, specific conditions set by the court often further limit these rights within lawful guidelines. A felon not in prison can vote in Indiana.

Access to Social Services

Food stamps

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Anyone convicted of a drug-related felony in Indiana loses their right to be eligible for aid programs such as food stamps and temporary aid for needy families (TANF). Various felonies restrict the right of the offender to live in public housing as well. An application to adopt a child is deniable based on certain felony convictions, ranging from battery to those involving controlled substances. After five years, some of these felonies are no longer permissible reasons for application denial (see Reference 1, pg 257-258 PDF).

Weapons

Handgun

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As outlined in Indiana Code 35-47-2-3 as of 2010, a felon, no matter the offense, can't carry a handgun (see Reference 1 Ch 2-Cg1). IC 35-47-8-4 makes handgun provisions applicable to electronic stun guns and tasers. Also, as of 2010, Indiana code 35-47-4-5 makes it unlawful for a "serious violent felon" to carry any type of firearm. A firearm is any weapon capable of, designed to or is readily convertible to "expel a projectile by means of explosion" (see Reference 1, Chapter 1). A serious violent felony includes murder, battery that is a Class A, B or C felony, many sex crimes, robbery and dealing in a schedule I, II, III, IV of V controlled substance (see Reference 1, Chapter 4-Sec 5). Check the code if you're unsure about a specific felony. Violation of this law is a Class B felony.

Employment and Other Basic Rights

You may not be able to get a license to teach

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Indiana allows employers to ask about criminal convictions and run background checks. An employer considers a criminal record in her hiring decisions. Indiana law makes it difficult or impossible to get licenses required to practice many professions. These include, but are not limited to, barbering, education, insurance sales, attorney, public office holder, child care, education, real estate agent, mortgage broker and nursing. Any financial institution may not employ a felon convicted of a crime involving fraud, deceit or misrepresentation (see Reference 2, page 519 PDF). Certain felony convictions result in immediate removal of driving privileges for different periods. These include crimes committed while using a vehicle and violations of controlled substance codes.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Don Shepard has been published in a water resources laboratory manual and in various online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Ball State University. His most recent work includes performing editing team leading duties for a prominent political advocacy firm.