What Rights Are at Risk When You Are Charged with a Felony?
Being accused of any crime is a sobering experience. Whether you are innocent, were in the company of an offender at the time they committed a crime, or made a poor choice that led you to an arrest, being faced with criminal charges of any kind is an unnerving, stressful experience. Along with imprisonment, some criminal charges can affect your most basic rights. Felony charges, in particular, can have a significant impact on your rights as a citizen.
What Crimes Are Considered Felonies?
Connecticut law defines a felony as an offense for which a person can be sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess for one year. Felonies are broken down into classifications, ranging from Class A to D, unclassified, and capital. Aggravated assault, battery, robbery, theft, vandalism, and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are all deemed felonies. These types of crimes typically involve some kind of serious physical threat or harm to a victim, and are considered one of the most serious criminal charges.
What Rights Can I Lose if I Am Charged with a Felony?
When you are a convicted felon, you lose a number of privileges. For starters, you no longer have the right to be an elector or vote. You are also prohibited from holding any kind of public office or running as a candidate for office. Additionally, you are disqualified from serving as a juror for up to seven years from the time you commit the crime, and your rights to possess a firearm or electronic defense weapon are revoked. A convicted felon must transfer any firearms they own to someone who is eligible to carry them or turn them over to the Public Safety Commissioner, and they are no longer eligible to carry a permit.
Other areas in which you may experience a loss of rights include employment and the adoption of foster children. For example, a convicted felon may lose certain professional licenses and permits. This can rule out various job opportunities following the offense and time served, although Connecticut policy does encourage employers to hire ex-offenders who are qualified for available positions. As for adoption, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is required to deny a license or approval for any prospective adoptive family if any member of that family is charged a felony.
Along with these consequences, felonies can result in various fines. A Class A felony may require you to pay up to twenty thousand dollars, while a Class B may cost you up to ten thousand dollars. If you are facing a felony charge of any kind, you need to speak with a qualified Fairfield County criminal defense attorney right away. Do not place your rights at stake or endanger your best interest. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 for a special consultation.