Analysis: What rights does Trump lose as a felon? And more of your questions, answered | CNN Politics (2024)

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Donald Trump’s conviction by a New York jury on 34 felony counts is historic and unprecedented. No former president or major party presidential candidate has also been a felon.

When CNN asked readers for their questions, a flood came in. Some of the more interesting and most-asked questions are below. And if there’s something we didn’t get to, ask us here.

It varies by state. In New York, where Trump was convicted, there are “collateral consequences” of being convicted of a felony. Importantly, felons in New York cannot hold many public offices, including elected positions. But Trump is no longer a New York resident.

In Florida, felons lose civil rights, including the ability to hold public office and serve on a jury.

While he can’t hold office in Florida or New York, there’s nothing in the Constitution to bar him from running for president.

In New York, a felon can apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct to restore all rights after a certain period of time. The charges against Trump are Class E felonies, for which the period is three years. Florida requires felons to apply for clemency through a special board, but in the case of out-of-state convictions like Trump’s, it defers to the state where the person was convicted.

Not in this case. Presidents have the power to issue pardons for federal offenses. Trump has been convicted of a felony in New York state court. That would require the pardon of New York’s governor, Democrat Kathy Hochul, who has praised his conviction.

Most likely. Trump is a Florida resident, and Florida defers to New York law on the question of felons voting. New York allows felons to vote as long as they are not incarcerated.

His sentencing is set for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Judge Juan Merchan could technically impose prison time – felony falsifying business records can be punished with up to four years in prison. But Trump has been convicted of Class E felonies, the lowest level in New York law. He is also a first-time offender. That said, Merchan could take into account that Trump has repeatedly violated a gag order.

Here’s what Secret Service chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi told CNN after the jury reached the guilty verdict: “Today’s outcome has no bearing on themanner in whichthe United States Secret Service carries out its protective mission. Our security measures will proceed unchanged.”

No one knows exactly. Time in prison still seems relatively unlikely for this offense. One can imagine the US Supreme Court getting involved or the sentence being delayed until after his term, or even a pardon by the New York governor in the interest of the country. But these are all just possibilities.

Yes. A survey of past cases by the legal website Just Security found numerous examples of prison time being imposed for this offense. These types of convictions do not usually lead to jail time.

Trump’s conviction does not automatically prevent him from holding a US passport. But it could make it difficult to travel to some countries.

Thirty-eight countries don’t allow felons to enter their borders, according to World Population Review, which says that some of those countries deny entry to felons “up front” while others do so only after such a conviction is “discovered.” That list includes Canada and Mexico, as well as Australia, China and South Africa.

Federal law bars individuals convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm, and most states have analogous prohibitions. A case challenging the federal prohibition has been appealed to the US Supreme Court, but the justices have not yet said whether they will hear the challenge.

In New York, convicted felons cannot obtain a permit to possess a firearm. It’s possible for Trump to later petition a state judge to have his firearm possession rights restored.

In Florida, where Trump is a resident, the Sunshine State has a similar felon disarmament law on the books. That law bars people convicted of a felony in Florida courts from possessing a firearm and also extends that prohibition to individuals found guilty of a felony in another state.

But under Florida law, the state’s Clemency Board “will not consider requests for firearm authority from individuals convicted in federal or out-of-state courts,” according to the state.

Technically. But not likely. The Supreme Court ruled this year that Congress could keep Trump off ballots if it passed a special measure determining he took part in an insurrection. That’s not at issue in this New York case, and it’s not going to happen when Republicans control the House as they currently do.

The Constitution also allows for people who are impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate to be barred from federal office. Trump was impeached twice as president but acquitted twice in the Senate.

Yes. Appeals and the sentencing process are ongoing, so the gag order remains in effect. That means every time Trump criticizes a key witness like Michael Cohen, he dances up to the line of violating the gag order, which could lead to penalties like fines or even jail time.

The trial has been delayed by allegations of impropriety against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for her relationship with a former prosecutor on the case. As a result, a trial date has not been set.

Trump’s two federal trials are also on ice. The judge in Florida overseeing the case in which federal prosecutors allege he mishandled classified documents and tried to hide them from the National Archives has proceeded very slowly and has allowed procedural questions to pile up. The trial is currently postponed indefinitely. In the federal election subversion case in Washington, DC, the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on whether Trump should enjoy immunity from prosecution as a former president.

The hush money payoff took place just before the 2016 election. The fact of the payments was discovered in 2018. Federal prosecutors ultimately decided not to pursue charges against Trump related to the payments and so did a previous Manhattan DA, Cy Vance Jr. It was seen as a gamble when current Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg ultimately announced charges in April 2023.

It would be difficult for anyone with a felony conviction to get security clearance. But presidents do not need to obtain security clearance. The voters have essentially given them access to all the country’s secrets.

Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor in New York unless the crime is committed with intent to commit another crime. In this case, the other crimes were federal campaign violations.

Analysis: What rights does Trump lose as a felon? And more of your questions, answered | CNN Politics (2024)


Analysis: What rights does Trump lose as a felon? And more of your questions, answered | CNN Politics? ›

But Trump is no longer a New York resident. In Florida, felons lose civil rights, including the ability to hold public office and serve on a jury. While he can't hold office in Florida or New York, there's nothing in the Constitution to bar him from running for president. Can Trump get his rights back?

Do felons lose constitutional rights? ›

Most jurisdictions deny convicted criminals specific rights rather than all civil and constitutional rights. The rights most often curtailed include the right to vote and hold public office, employment rights, domestic rights, and financial and contractual rights.

What rights do felons lose in Florida? ›

Florida law deprives convicted felons of certain Civil Rights including the right to vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, and restricts the issuance and renewal of some professional licenses such as real estate and insurance.

What years did Donald Trump serve? ›

Donald Trump
Official portrait, 2017
45th President of the United States
In office January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021
Vice PresidentMike Pence
19 more rows

Do felons lose their 4th Amendment? ›

People convicted of crimes have choices. Either agree to the conditions of probation/parole or do the full nickel. If they complete their full sentence, then they come out with no conditions and their 4th Amendment rights intact.

Does 2nd Amendment apply to felons? ›

Ninth Circuit finds that convicted felons also have Second Amendment rights. In a significant shift, the appellate court ruled that a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court means that convicted felons can't automatically be deprived of their right to bear arms.

Do felonies go away after 7 years in Florida? ›

No, felonies in Florida do not automatically disappear after 7 years. Criminal records, including felonies, remain part of your public record unless they are sealed or expunged. This process is governed by specific eligibility criteria and legal proceedings.

Can a felon go to a gun range in Florida? ›

In any event, The criminal statutes don't prohibit a convicted felon from going into a gun range.

Can a felon buy a house in Florida? ›

If you're interested in buying a house, you may wonder if having a criminal record could stand in your way. The short answer is yes—a misdemeanor or felony could disqualify you from getting a conventional home loan, but this is at the lender's discretion. Your specific circ*mstances could also affect your eligibility.

What are three facts about Donald Trump? ›

Donald Trump served as the 45th president of the United States (2017–21). He was the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives and the only president to be impeached twice—once in 2019 (he was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in 2020) and once in 2021.

What is Trump's ethnicity? ›

Donald Trump, his third wife Melania, and their son Barron were the first family for the duration of his presidency. Trump's father Fred was the son of German immigrants, while his mother Mary Anne MacLeod was a Scottish immigrant.

What number president is Biden? ›

The 46th President of the United States

After being sworn in as the 46th President on January 20th, 2021, he took swift action to get America vaccinated and jumpstart an economic recovery that created more jobs than any other President has created in four years.

Does the Constitution apply to felons? ›

Where in the US Constitution does it limit the voting rights of felons or those in prison? It doesn't, but it also doesn't say that all adult citizens have the right to vote. States are free to limit the right to vote as long as they don't do so in one of the ways the Constitution says they can't.

What constitutional rights do prisoners lose? ›

They lose their first amendment right to free speech. They can not send or receive mail without it possibly being looked and and photo copied. They lose their 2nd amendment right to own a gun. They lose their right to vote.

Does the 14th Amendment apply to felons? ›

States Supreme Court expressly held that the exclusion of felons from voting has an affirmative sanction in Section Two of the Fourteenth Amendment. Two of the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted as permitting states to disenfranchise those who participate in rebellion or commit some other crime.

How can you lose your constitutional rights? ›

Constitutional rights violations can take a variety of forms, ranging from retaliating against you for expressing your First Amendment right to free speech, to arresting you without possessing probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, or even arbitrarily depriving you of your Fourteenth Amendment right to ...

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