Does a convicted felon while serving time in prison, have the same rights to real estate that he or she had prior to conviction?

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Does a convicted felon while serving time in prison, have the same rights to real estate that he or she had prior to conviction?

Asked on April 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, yes--a felon, even while imprisoned, has the same rights to own real estate as any other person. Of course, as a practical matter, getting financing, paying taxes and/or a mortgage, acting as landlord if the felon rents his/her property out, etc. will all be more difficult, and may in some cases be effectively impossible--but the felon still has the legal right to own the real estate.

The exception would be if the real estate:

1) Were the "fruit" of criminal activity--if the real estate was procured by fraud, or was purchased with stolen funds, with drug  money, etc., if the authorities find that out, they can confiscate it; or a victim of the crime could possibly sue to recover it.

2) If the real estate were used in the commission of a crime, it may also be possible for the authorities to confiscate it.

 


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