What rights do i have, while on parole? Why can’t vote, but can pay taxes while on parole?What bill of rights do i have?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a heavily regulated area of the law.  You will need to go to a competent criminal defense attorney in your area and ask him/her what the procedure is to have your civil rights reinstated.  Each state has its own procedures and the specific rights that can be reinstated varies from state-to-state.  Your best bet is to arrange a legal consultation and see how much it will cost to petition the court where you were charged for a possible "expungement" of your record and restoration of your rights.

At least with respect to your voting rights, California automatically restores voting rights to people who have completed the terms of their sentence – including any terms of incarceration and/or conditions of probation or parole.  If the court imposed a fine as a condition of probation but you have not finished paying that fine, you can register as long as you are off probation.  On the other hand, if a fine was imposed as part of your original sentence – meaning, the fine itself was authorized by law – and you have not finished paying it, you should not register to vote.

As for the right to own fire arms, in California if you were convicted of a felony, expungement will not restore your right to own a firearm. However, it may be possible to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor, which will restore your right to own a firearm.

Note:  If you were convicted of a federal charge, by law if certain felonies are committed with a firearm the right to firearms ownership will never be reinstated.


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