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How does a Felony Conviction Affect Your Life in Texas?

Published: Nov 29, 2022 in Criminal Defense

A felony conviction has a lasting impact on your future opportunities in Texas. Even after completing a prison sentence and paying substantial fines, the consequences of a felony can continue to follow you for the rest of your life.

The Texas State Bar only allows felony expunctions under specific circumstances. Knowing the long-term effects of a felony on your record will prepare you for life after release.

Types of Felonies in Texas

In the state of Texas, felonies are categorized under capital felonies, first-degree felonies, second-degree felonies, third-degree felonies, and state-jail felonies. State-jail felonies are considered to be the least severe, with capital felonies being the most severe.

Some examples of felonies in Texas include:

Consequences of a Texas Felony Conviction

The more severe the felony you are charged with in Texas, the harsher the penalties you will face. For all felonies, however, fines may reach as high as $10,000. You can be sentenced to years in prison for a less severe felony and up to life in prison if you are charged with a first-degree felony or capital felony.

Reintegrating into society after being released can be a difficult transition for many. You may still be placed on parole for some time. During this time, you will need to adhere to the requirements of your parole, or you risk additional criminal charges and incarceration.

As you reacclimate to life outside of prison, you should be prepared to deal with some collateral consequences. Here are some aspects of your life that will be affected by a Texas felony conviction:

Voting

While incarcerated, you will be prohibited from voting in state or national elections.

However, according to Texas Election Code, 11.002, your voting rights can be restored once your felony sentence has been fully discharged. This typically happens upon being released from prison and completing probation or parole.

Employment

A felony conviction can impact your employment opportunities in Texas. Potential employers might run a background check and find you were previously charged with or convicted of a crime. You will be required to answer their questions truthfully unless your conviction has been pardoned or expunged from your record.

Those convicted of felony offenses are more likely to be passed over for job opportunities post-release. However, there are still jobs available for felons in Texas, and plenty of people have found success and fulfillment regardless of a felony conviction.

Holding Elected Federal Office

Under Texas law, anyone previously convicted of a felony is disqualified from holding a public office position. You may be able to hold a position in elected state office after receiving a full pardon. However, no requirement prohibits convicted felons from holding an elected federal office position.

Education

If you are convicted of a felony, you will have limited eligibility for federal student loans, which may be used to cover the costs of your education and housing. Additionally, you may be denied entry to college or universities if you are convicted of certain types of drug or sex crimes.

Firearms

Anyone convicted of a felony in Texas loses their right to own firearms. The Texas Department of Public Safety will not issue gun licenses to convicted felons.

Driver’s License

Depending on the type of felony you are charged with or convicted of, you may temporarily lose your driver’s license. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense upon your release, complete a drug education course, and face driver’s license suspension or revocation.

Housing

If you are hoping to obtain affordable housing with a felony conviction, it may be more difficult. Texas landlords can refuse rental applications and deny opportunities to individuals convicted of felony offenses.

Parenting

Texas law prohibits anyone convicted of certain types of offenses, including domestic violence and alcohol-related crimes, from adopting children. A felony conviction could limit your child custody and visitation rights if you are involved in a child custody dispute.

Immigration Status

Foreign nationals face deportation and green card application denial if they are convicted of misdemeanor or felony offenses. Even being accused of such crimes could cause serious immigration troubles.

Right to Serve on a Jury

According to federal law, anyone convicted of a felony and incarcerated for more than one year is disqualified from serving on a jury. You can restore your right to serve on a jury by obtaining a full pardon.

How Can the Law Offices of Ned Barnett Help?

The Law Offices of Ned Barnett is here to help you find relief when you have been charged with or convicted of a felony offense. If you are currently dealing with a pending case, we can help you prepare a compelling defense strategy or work with the prosecutor to reduce your charges.

If you have previously been convicted of a felony offense, we may be able to help you obtain an expungement and access resources that can help you begin to rebuild your life.

Get Help From a Texas Felony Lawyer Today

If you are currently involved in a pending felony criminal case and have yet to be convicted, you can increase your odds by hiring an aggressive Texas felony lawyer at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. Our team will help prepare your defense strategy, which could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

We may be able to get your felony charges reduced so the penalties may not be so severe. When you contact us for a confidential case evaluation, find out more about what defensive options are best suited for your case. Call our team of criminal defense attorneys at (713) 222-6767 or fill out our quick contact form to get started on your strategy as soon as today.