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Old December 1, 2002, 01:25 AM   #1
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Can a Felon have a drivers license?

Can he?

If so, there is a big problem.

You mean to tell me that a felon is allowed to drive a car but cannot own a little stinking GUN???

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Old December 1, 2002, 01:53 AM   #2
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Yes they can. I know drug felons at my work who have licenses.
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Old December 1, 2002, 02:03 AM   #3
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Yes, they can have a drivers license provided that their license has not been suspended or revoked. Having one is essential just to make a living.

The problem with the law is that there is no disctinction between a violent and a non violent felon. Most folks agree that felons with a violent criminal history should not be allowed to own guns.

On the other hand there are some non violent felons that have since cleaned up their lifestyle and have become model citizens for many years.

Since all felons are pretty much treated equally, they all suffer the same consequences and Presidential Pardons are but a dream to most folks.

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Old December 1, 2002, 02:05 AM   #4
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Hey, in a number of states, once you're convicted of a felony, you can never vote again...
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Old December 1, 2002, 02:18 AM   #5
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The one I like is someone convicted of DUI that has his licensed revoked and then is given a permit to allow him to drive to and from work. Seems like giving a guy convicted of robbing convenience stores a permit to keep a handgun at home.
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Old December 1, 2002, 06:51 AM   #6
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Yup. Though in my state, drug violations will usually get your license suspended.

There's currently quite the battle going on over what rights a convicted felon should have, once he's served his time and repaid his debt to society. For one thing, there's a felon (who, say, committed his third DWI, or stupidly carried a gun on university campus and got caught, or who got convicted of a major tax evasion), and then there's a FELON (Who's murdered, or committed Aggravated Sexual Assault, or Aggravated Robbery, etc.). Our state, for example, has 5 degrees (Capital, 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, State Jail [equivalent of "4th Degree]) of felonies-- would we treat a released 1st degree felon the same as a State Jail releasee? (Presumably, a Capital murder convict never legally sees the light of day.)

And what about voting rights? Should a convicted felon be allowed to vote for Sheriff? For District Attorney? For district judge? Remember, in some sparesely populated areas, these elections are sometimes won on very meager margins. If you get county or precinct full of convicts, what kind of elected government are you going to have?

Should we curtail these rights temporarily, with a sunset to their impositions, say, a decade later?

Take a driver's license from a convict, and in most areas, he can't get to and from work. Now we've denied him of a legal means of transportation to pursue a livelyhood. What are we forcing him into? Should he just be issued an "Occupational License"? (These are licenses that are supposed to restrict driving to the most basic of needs: getting to and from work, worship, food buying, school. They obviously get abused heavily.)

These and other questions weigh heavily. Please check the Legal & Political Forum to weigh in or read more on this thread, as that's where I'm moving it.

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Old December 1, 2002, 09:33 AM   #7
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It depends (but you knew I'd say that) on what type of felon.

Many states have offenses in which a conviction will suspend your license for a set period of time (pot, OWI, LSA, RD, non-payment of child support, etc.). In most states upon the conviction of your third "major" traffic offense (usually OWI), you will be suspended for 5 to 10 years. This category of suspension is usually entitled Habitual Traffic Violator or Offender.

If you are convicted of driving HTV, you will be suspended for life as well as possible fines and jail sentence. Each state is different.
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Old December 1, 2002, 11:17 AM   #8
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At the risk of getting incinerated, I would suggest the following categories:

1) Currently incarcerated: obviously no rights at all concerning guns, cars, voting, etc.

2) Probation: whatever the probation agreement is for the particular individual/jurisdiction (probation being kind of an extension of incarceration)

3) Completed sentence/probation: same rights as everyone else, including owning guns.

Of course, a judge could also add certain specifications to a individual's sentence that might last for life, such as firearm prohibition. The way it is now is an "ex post facto" law for those who were convicted years ago. How long until a speeding ticket (however long in the past) becomes a reason for denying firearm ownership?

If we would stop locking people up for the "crime" of self-medication, we would have room to keep the really violent offenders in prison until they are no longer a threat to society.
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Old December 1, 2002, 02:33 PM   #9
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TallPine, I agree with your points but, would have to mention the obvious. Some people are just plain violent and predatory and some one that has proved themselves to be of this sort need to be kept seperate from civilized people for a VERY long time.
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Old December 1, 2002, 02:39 PM   #10
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The problem with the law is that there is no disctinction between a violent and a non violent felon. Most folks agree that felons with a violent criminal history should not be allowed to own guns.

On the other hand there are some non violent felons that have since cleaned up their lifestyle and have become model citizens for many years.
It is illegal for felons to own guns.

The felons who are still felony-prone, have no respect for the law and own guns anyway.

The felons who have cleaned up their acts and become model citizens obey the law and don't own guns.


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Old December 1, 2002, 07:09 PM   #11
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i think that when a felon who was convicted of non-violent crimes is released from prison and has completed all the court mandated activities, they should then decide about the other rights by a best-of-seven game of rock paper scissors. the loser will concede completely.

felons convicted of violent crimes should have to spend a full year as rosie's personal maid.

(hey, maybe they'd 'snap' and do something crazy but justifiable, you never know)
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Old December 2, 2002, 12:24 AM   #12
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Not only do felons get drivers licenses, they get preferred insurance rates for not getting any traffic tickets for the last, say, 3-5 years. And, just like everybody else, they don't need to know how to drive, either.
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Old December 2, 2002, 12:29 AM   #13
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To get back to the original post: Bad Guys rarely use cars as deadly weapons. With guns, it's obviously different.

Before the feds got into the act, Texas law allowed a felon who either had served his time or was on parole to keep a gun in his house as a means of self-defense. Self-defense is a human right, as almost every pro-gun poster has stated on TFL at one time or another. The feds now say it is not, without regard to the violence of any particular felony.

If some dude loses his license for Driving While Stupid, giving him a restricted to-and-from-work DL makes sense. That's when Dudley Doofus is sober and of no potential harm. If he wants to bar-hop, he can take a bus or cab.

In court decisions, as with most other things, there ain't no "One size fits all".

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Old December 2, 2002, 12:49 PM   #14
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Not only felons, but the mentally challenged and the downright stupid as well.

The entire cross section of persons who are denied firearms ownership are allowed to drive.
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