Rights of a Convicted Felon in Missouri

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Missouri law places specific regulations on convicted felons after they're released from prison. For convicted felons to regain some of their rights, they must first complete their parole or probation sentence. While ex-felons in Missouri who complete their sentences may have certain rights reinstated, other rights may be revoked forever.

Identification

An individual who has been convicted of a felony offense in the state of Missouri will lose certain rights for a period of time, depending on the crime. Some of the rights that can be revoked include your right to vote, own a firearm, or run for or hold any public office job. An ex-felon will also become ineligible to work for any branch of the police force, including the highway patrol. Certain government benefits, such as welfare, can also be revoked.

Probation and Parole Time Frame

Convicted felons in Missouri will have certain rights revoked while they're serving their jail or prison sentence. During the probation or parole period, these rights are not automatically reinstated. Once probation or parole is completed, ex-felons are able to regain certain rights. For example, ex-felons regain the right to vote or hold public office if elected. Other rights, however, may never be granted once they're revoked, including the right to serve on a jury.

Changes in Hunting Law

In 2008, the Missouri legislature altered the laws in regard to convicted felons and firearms. Under this law, convicted felons may not posses any firearm, including concealed handguns, shotguns or rifles, even for hunting purposes. However, convicted felons, once released, are legally allowed to own and operate bows and arrows for the purpose of hunting. Under the law prior to 2008, convicted felons were allowed to use rifles and shotguns for hunting once they completed their sentence, including probation and/or parole.

Effects on Government Aid

Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, individuals convicted of a drug-related felony in Missouri couldn’t receive food stamps or cash welfare benefits; Senator Yvonne Wilson of Jackson County introduced a bill in 2010 to alter this law (Wilson had introduced similar bills in years prior, each of which were opposed). Ten other states, not including Missouri, still uphold this ban. Ex-felons convicted of non-drug-related crimes are allowed access to food stamps.

Other Considerations

Under Missouri law, anyone convicted of a sex crime, which is considered a felony, must register as a sex offender with the state. The State Board of Education has the right to revoke a teacher's certificate, or not issue one at all, for those convicted of a felony in Missouri. State agencies are not allowed to deny someone a license strictly because they've been convicted of a felony. They do have the right, however, to incorporate the felony charge into their decision-making process.

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About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.