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Miami Restoration of Civil Rights Lawyer
Helping Those in Fort Lauderdale Overcome Post-Conviction Prohibitions
Under Florida Statute § 944.292, a person convicted of a felony has their civil rights suspended. However, those rights can be restored by a full pardon, conditional pardon, or restoration of civil rights granted pursuant to Section 8, Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Florida. Securing a restoration of civil rights allows you to exercise the rights of citizenship that you had before being convicted, except for the right to use, possess, or own firearms. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal options.
At The Hoffman Firm, we are committed to providing sound legal guidance to individuals seeking to restore their civil rights. The processes involved are intricate and require a thorough understanding of the law. Backed by extensive experience, our attorney, Evan Hoffman, can provide the legal service you need.
What’s the Process for Restoring Civil Rights?
Obtaining clemency requires going through many different procedures. However, the specific process a person goes through depends on their circumstances.
If an individual has not been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor for 5 years from the date they completed their sentence and any conditions of supervision, they could ask for their civil rights to be restored. Usually, this process takes place without a hearing.
For a person to be eligible for restoration of civil rights without a hearing, they must meet all of the following requirements:
- Complete all sentences imposed and all conditions of supervision, including, but not limited to, imprisonment, parole, probation, community control, control release, and conditional release;
- Have no outstanding detainers or pending criminal charges;
- Paid all restitution and obligations pursuant to a court order or civil judgment;
- Has not been declared a Habitual Violent Felony Offender, Three-time Violent Felony Offender, Violent Career Criminal, Prison Release Reoffender, or Sexual Predator; and
- Must be a citizen of the United States, and if convicted in a court other than a Florida court, must be a legal resident of Florida
If the person has previously had their civil rights restored and they’re subsequently convicted of offenses set forth in Rule 9(a), they become ineligible for restoration of civil rights or alien status under Florida law for at least 7 years after completing their sentences and conditions of supervision arising from the later conviction. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can review your case to assess whether you may be eligible to have your civil rights restored.
If an individual does not qualify for clemency under rule 9, they must file an application for their civil rights to be restored under Rule 6. This process requires a hearing.
The person must meet the following requirements to qualify under Rule 6:
- Have no new felony convictions for 7 years or more after completion of all sentences imposed for the most recent conviction;
- Complete all conditions of supervision for the most recent felony conviction, including, but not limited to imprisonment, parole, probation, community control, control release, and conditional release;
- Paid all restitution and completed all obligations pursuant to a court order or civil judgment; and
- Must be a citizen of the United States, and if convicted in a court other than a Florida court, be a legal resident of Florida
When a hearing is required, the Parole Commission will investigate to decide whether the individual is rehabilitated. The examiners place recommendations into confidential files for the Clemency Board. Hearings are held quarterly, and applicants are not required to attend. However, if they do attend, they have the right to make oral statements.
If an application is denied, the applicant must wait 2 years before reapplying.
If an individual has certain criminal convictions on their record, they are not eligible for restoration of civil rights.
These offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Unlawful sexual activity with a minor
- Sexual battery
- Attempted sexual battery
- Female genital mutilation
- Leaving the scene of an accident that involves death or injury
- Attempted murder
- Attempted felony murder
Retain a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami
If you’re seeking to secure a restoration of civil rights, consult with a skilled lawyer. At The Hoffman Firm, our principal, Evan Hoffman, can look at whether you would qualify for this or another type of relief. We provide dedicated legal services in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and the surrounding areas, and we’re ready to help you through your case.
Restoration of Civil Rights Resources in Florida
Office of Executive Clemency | Florida Commission on Offender Review: On this section of the Florida Commission on Offender Review website, you can learn more about the Executive Clemency Board. You can also view a list of Clemency Board meeting dates for the year. The website also allows you to search for rights already granted, apply for restoration of civil rights, and read answers to frequently asked questions.
House Bill 903 (2018) | The Florida Senate: View the full text of a bill introduced by state Representative Cord Byrd. The bill is similar to Senate Bill 1654 introduced by state Senator Tom Lee in that both measures would authorize certain convicted felons to petition for civil rights restoration in the circuit court of the county in which the felon resides or was convicted. Both bills, if passed, would have an effective date of July 1, 2018.
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