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Can You Vote If You Have A Criminal Record?

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | Mar 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

A criminal record on your criminal record can hold you back from a lot of things. That is why, when possible, many people take the time to hire a lawyer to have a criminal record expunged. The courts do recognize that people sometimes make mistakes, and once they pay for them, they shouldn't have to keep paying. Sometimes it takes removing the record of a criminal conviction in order to be able to move forward. In election years, especially, people begin to consider how important their right to vote really is, and whether or not a criminal record means they get to cast their vote in November.

Criminal Record Voting Rights in the U.S.

Whether you can vote with a criminal record or regain your right to vote is dependent on the state where you live. In fact, in Florida, Iowa, and Virginia, felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote. In 38 states and D.C., you can regain your right to vote when you have completed your sentence, and in some states you have to apply or wait a certain amount of time before your right to vote is restored.

Your Right to Vote In New Jersey

Every state has the right to set limitations on voter's rights to some extent. This applies to persons convicted of a crime as well. However, residents of New Jersey who are convicted of a crime do have the right to vote for any and all offices provided you meet certain conditions.
Those who have been convicted and completed their sentences, including probation and parole, are eligible to vote. Those who are still on parole or probation from a criminal conviction are not eligible to vote. However, this doesn't mean that anyone who is in jail loses their right to vote. Those who are awaiting trial and are in jail for the sole purpose of awaiting trial are eligible to vote because they haven't yet been convicted of anything.
If you have lived in New Jersey for 30 days or more before the election, are over 18, are a citizen of the United States, and are not in any way serving a sentence for a crime, you have the right to vote in any and every election. The most crucial part of understanding New Jersey's voting laws for those concerned with criminal convictions is the part regarding serving a sentence. Even if you are currently charged with a crime, but not convicted, you are eligible to vote in all elections in New Jersey.

Clear Your Record

Some crimes are able to be expunge under certain criteria. To learn more about expunging your record call the attorneys at Villani & DeLuca. We will go over the steps required to expunge your record. Call (732) 709-7757 today to discuss your options.

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.


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