Felony Convictions and Your Voting Rights
Being convicted of a felony in the state of Nebraska can have a major impact on many aspects of your life. It can influence your professional license, your right to be issued a passport, your right to possess a firearm, and your right to vote.
Before 2005, if you were a Nebraska resident with a felony conviction, you lost your right to vote forever. The state law has since changed and currently, the law provides a procedure which allows individuals convicted of a felony to restore their voting rights.
Having Your Voting Rights Restored
If you are convicted of a felony in Nebraska at the state or federal level, you will temporarily lose your voting rights. However, your voting rights may be restored after completing all your sentence terms. The sentence terms can include incarceration, parole, or probation.
Two years after the completion of your sentence, a person convicted of a felony may register to vote (as long as the applicant states that it has been two years since he or she completed his or her sentence).
If you are a resident of Nebraska but were convicted in a felony outside of Nebraska, the same rules apply. Restated, the two-year sentence completion law will still be in effect no matter where you were convicted of the felony. It is important to look at state laws after a felony conviction to make sure that you are abiding by the terms and conditions imposed by the court in the state you were convicted. It is generally in your best interest to consult an experienced felony defense attorney if you are facing felony charges that may impact your voting rights.
Automatic Bars and Board of Pardons
The Nebraska Board of Pardons has the power to grant pardons and Warrants of Discharge. Their power applies to all cases except for cases of treason and cases of impeachment. A pardon will restore your civil rights, including your right to vote and possess a firearm. Although there are some caveats, in most cases only a pardon can restore a felon’s right to possess a firearm in the state of Nebraska.
Felony Defense Attorneys
If you or someone you know is facing a felony conviction, it is important to act immediately. Felony convictions can have serious implications on your life and are not to be taken lightly. Your right to vote and your right to possess a firearm can be lost if convicted. Contact Berry Law to discuss your case with our Lincoln and Omaha criminal defense lawyers so we can begin building your defense today.