A criminal conviction has serious long-term consequences. You may have difficulty finding housing, getting a job, finishing your education, and doing many other things we take for granted as a part of normal life. But did you know that a criminal conviction in Ohio can actually lead to you losing some of your basic rights as a citizen of the United States?
Unfortunately, it’s true. After a criminal conviction, you lose the right to:
- Vote while incarcerated,
- Serve on a jury,
- Carry a firearm, and
- Access some state and federal benefits.
After a felony conviction, you may be ineligible to receive food stamps, temporary cash assistance for needy families, assisted housing, and even student loans. This can even more adversely affect your life than some of the indirect consequences of a criminal record. Without restoration of rights, many people feel that they are still being punished for a crime years after being rehabilitated.
Can I Get My Rights Back?
Even after your have served your time, most of these rights are not restored automatically. While you will be permitted to vote in Ohio after finishing your sentence, you can usually never again serve on a jury and get certain federal benefits back without a formal pardon.
Luckily, the Ohio criminal code does allow you to petition to have your Second Amendment rights restored. Under the Ohio Revised Code section 2923.14, anyone who is prohibited from exercising their firearm rights after a conviction may apply to the court of common pleas for relief from this prohibition. With the help of an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney, you may be able to build a successful case to have your rights restored.
Generally, you will have to demonstrate to the courts that:
- You have followed the law since your release;
- You are likely to continue to be a law-abiding citizen;
- You have fully discharged any responsibility with the court related to this crime and post-release control;
- You deserve relief.
“Deserving” relief is a factor that can be difficult to prove. This means that you are adversely affected by this revocation of your rights and a restoration of these rights will not unfavorably affect the community. This depends on many factors, which defense lawyers will be most adept at demonstrating and developing. If you have been a model citizen since your arrest, though, you are likely to have a chance at a clean slate.
If you have been arrested, the easiest way to ensure that you maintain your gun rights and do not face the consequences of a conviction is to fight the charges in the first place. Contact Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brad Groene right away to see how he may be able to help you build a successful defense. If you have already served time though, Brad Groene may still be able to help. If you have paid your debt to society and are acting within the law as a good citizen, you deserve to avail yourself of all your rights as a citizen. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation on your case. Let us fight for your rights.