In the United States, citizens convicted of a felony face many challenges after being released from incarceration. Difficulties finding a job or a place to live may cause problems for the convicted felon trying to assimilate back into the "outside world." Traditionally, convicted felons also lose the right to vote and the right to bear arms. However, many states, including Texas, restore certain rights to convicted felons after a period of time.
The Right to Vote
Texas is one of 18 states that restores a convicted felon's right to vote immediately after the completion of the incarceration, supervised parole and supervised probation periods. Felons who receive a pardon for a conviction will also have their voting rights restored immediately.
The Right to Hold Office
Contrary to popular belief, federal law does not preclude a convicted felon from running for or holding public office. However, Texas law prohibits any person convicted of a felony from being a candidate for public office or holding any public office position. Felons who receive a full pardon are eligible to run for office.
Texas bars convicted felons from serving on a jury.
The Right to Bear Arms
Texas restores the right to bear arms to a convicted felon immediately after the five-year period following the completion of the felon's incarceration, parole and probation. However, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is limited to the felon's residence. In addition, convicted felons are prohibited from owning metal or body armor. Violation of the firearms restriction is a 3rd degree felony.
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