Although many defendants in Mississippi are primarily concerned about prison time and fines when they commit a felony, the state can also take away many of your rights after a conviction. Losing your gun rights is bad enough, but Mississippi can also take away your right to participate in the democratic process and cast votes in elections. With all that being said, there is now considerable pushback from various activist groups who want to end felony disenfranchisement once and for all.
If you have committed a felony, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our legal professionals can help you avoid many of the most problematic penalties, including prison time, fines, and the loss of your rights. Working alongside our criminal defense attorneys is one of the best ways to fight for your rights and put forth the best possible defense.
What are Mississippi’s Felony Disenfranchisement Laws?
Mississippi’s felony disenfranchisement laws date all the way back to 1890, and it is part of the state’s Constitution. According to the Constitution, those who have committed felonies in the past are stripped of the right to vote for life. The exact wording states that the following crimes result in disenfranchisement:
- Obtaining goods or money under false pretense
In 1950, the crime of burglary was removed from this list.
A Lawsuit Has Been Filed
A lawsuit filed back in 2017 claimed that the state’s felony disenfranchisement laws are inherently racist, and they were originally created specifically to target African Americans. A recent study found that around 16% of all black people in Mississippi cannot vote because of past felony convictions. Activist groups and attorneys today are fighting to overturn these laws, although they are not challenging disenfranchisement laws for those who have committed rape and murder.
Pursuing a Pardon
Technically speaking, it is possible to regain your voting rights by pursuing a pardon. A pardon must be granted by the Governor of Mississippi, and this is admittedly quite rare. To put things in perspective, many governors have served the entirety of their terms without issuing a single pardon. Alternatively, you can win permission for a pardon by getting a two-thirds vote from the state House and Senate. With all that being said, legislators are continuously passing bills to restore voting rights, and although these are small victories, the battle is far from over.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We understand that there is a lot at stake when you are facing felony charges. Losing your rights can be incredibly difficult to deal with, and you may also be facing significant fines and prison sentences. With our assistance, you can fight for your rights and freedoms. Book your consultation today.