Domestic violence convictions may impact voting rights

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Domestic Violence |

It’s possible that a person who’s charged with domestic violence will ultimately face a felony conviction. Being labeled as a felon is something that can have a negative impact on your life for many reasons, not the least of which are some “collateral” consequences. For some, one of the most serious is that they can’t vote. 

Until recently, Florida restricted felons from voting. That changed, but there’s still a major hurdle that felons have to cross before they can submit a ballot to vote: They have to have fully paid off their fines and court costs. This is rather challenging for some, especially when you think about the lack of employment options for felons. 

Even when a felon has completed their court-imposed sentence, there’s still a chance that they’ll have trouble finding suitable employment. It’s estimated that more than 700,000 felons in the state will have to bypass voting just because they don’t have the funds to pay for the fines and costs. 

Some felons were fortunate and individuals stepped in to pay those fines and fees for them in an effort to tear down the barrier that was erected to prevent them from being able to vote. The deadline to pay off the fees and fines passed on Oct. 5; however, individuals who are still paying the courts may opt to attempt to pay those off before the next election.

If you are facing criminal charges but haven’t yet been convicted of anything, focusing on a defense that may prevent you from being convicted of a felony charge might be a viable option. That’s the best way to protect your right to vote in the future.