One of the most negative consequences of being convicted of a crime is the fact that a criminal record and restricted freedoms will follow you for life. New Jersey legislators are currently looking to change that trend by expanding rights to convicted persons. This would restore voting rights to 94,000 residents across the state of New Jersey, including prisoners.
Bill Would be Landmark Legislation for Convicted Criminals
This is the first time a bill like this has been explored in more than 170 years, through the New Jersey legislature, and it is currently being evaluated. This would grant the right to vote to people who are convicted of indictable offenses who are currently on probation, serving sentences or on parole.
More than 90,000 people initially lost their right to vote as a result of a conviction. Approximately 73,000 of those people are living within a community but are not able to vote because they’re on probation or parole. The other individuals who would be affected by this proposed state law are currently incarcerated.
Those inmates would be able to use a mail-in ballot for the areas in which they resided prior to the incarceration. The bill alleges that denying the right to vote to people who have criminal convictions does not serve any legitimate public safety purpose.
Approximately half of the people who are currently denied access to the right to vote are black, even though African Americans only make up 15% of the population in New Jersey. A conference was held by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the Legislative Black Caucus in February to promote the legislation.
Getting Help After You’ve Been Accused of a New Jersey Crime
If you have already been accused of a crime and are curious about the possible rights you may lose, and the impact of your future once you have a criminal record, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused- contact attorney James M. Porfido for help with your criminal case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.