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Chris Brown Being Sentenced Today in Rihanna Domestic Violence Case

Chris Brown's criminal sentencing for his domestic violence assault on former girlfriend Rihanna was moved up to this afternoon at 2 p.m. PST, two days earlier than his recently re-scheduled August 27, 2009 date.

At a previously scheduled sentencing hearing on August 5th, this blog reported that Rihanna's attorney Donald Etra explained that the delay was because L.A. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg was "awaiting confirmation from Virginia as to what Chris would be doing" during his sentence of community labor.

Why did Brown opt to plead guilty in June this year to one count of felony assault, a lesser charge?

Staying out of prison may be one reason.

But being a convicted felon means that, in almost every state, you will lose a significant number of rights that people often take for granted.

In California, convicted felons who are either serving "a prison term or on parole are not eligible to register or vote." Brown has a residence in Virginia, and people convicted of violent felonies in that state lose a host of civil rights, including:

    • The right to vote;
    • The right to serve on a jury;
    • The right to own or possess a gun
    • The right to run for and hold a public office; and
    • The ability to be a notary public.

It can be hard for people who have never been convicted of a felony to truly understand how they have lost certain civil rights until after they have been convicted of a crime. 

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