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Restoration of Civil Rights

Florida Statute § 944.292 establishes that a convicted felon's civil rights are suspended until such rights are 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. Pardons are not available to most people, leaving most felons forced to petition to have their rights restored. 

The Florida Executive Clemency Board makes the final determination on applications to restore civil rights but meets only four times a year. As a result, it can take several years for many people to have hearings, but some individuals can be eligible to have rights restored without a hearing.

Attorney for Restoration of Civil Rights After Conviction in Miami-Dade County, FL

Are you seeking to have your civil rights restored following a felony conviction in South Florida? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm for qualified legal assistance. 

Miami criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman defends clients in South Miami, Opa-Locka, Key Biscayne, Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami, Hialeah, Aventura, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County. 

You can have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Overview of Restoration of Civil Rights in North Miami


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Restoration of Civil Rights Eligibility in Florida

When a person has committed no crimes and has not been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony for five years from the date of completion of all sentences and conditions of supervision imposed, Rule 9 of the Florida Rules of Executive Clemency establishes that he or she can have his or her civil rights restored by approval of the Clemency Board. 

Not all of an individual’s rights, however, will be restored. Rule 9 excludes the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms, without a hearing. In addition, the person must also satisfy all of the following requirements: 

  • has completed all sentences imposed and all conditions of supervision have expired or been completed, including but not limited to, imprisonment, parole, probation, community control, control release, and conditional release; 
  • has no outstanding detainers or pending criminal charges; 
  • has paid all restitution pursuant to a court order or civil judgment and obligations; 
  • has not been declared to be a Habitual Violent Felony Offender, Three-time Violent Felony Offender, Violent Career Criminal, Prison Releasee Reoffender, or Sexual Predator; and 
  • must be a citizen of the United States and if convicted in a court other than a Florida court, the person must be a legal resident of Florida. 

A person also cannot have been convicted of one of the following crimes: 

  • Murder;
  • Attempted murder;
  • Attempted felony murder;
  • Manslaughter;
  • DUI manslaughter;
  • DUI serious bodily injury;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Attempted sexual battery;
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor;
  • Female genital mutilation;
  • Any violation of chapter 800 of the Florida Statutes (relating to lewdness and indecent exposure);
  • Lewd or lascivious offense upon or in the presence of an elderly or disabled person;
  • Attempted lewd or lascivious offense upon or in the presence of an elderly or disabled person;
  • Sexual performance by a child;
  • Attempted sexual performance by a child;
  • Aggravated child abuse;
  • Failure to register as a sexual predator or sexual offender;
  • Computer pornography;
  • Transmission of computer pornography;
  • Any crime involving a minor in violation of chapter 847 of the Florida Statutes (relating to obscenity);
  • Kidnapping;
  • Attempted kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Luring and enticing a child;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Attempted aggravated battery;
  • Felony battery;
  • Domestic battery by strangulation;
  • Robbery;
  • Carjacking;
  • Attempted carjacking;
  • Home invasion;
  • Attempted home invasion;
  • Poisoning of food or water;
  • Abuse of a dead human body;
  • Burglary of a dwelling;
  • First-degree burglary;
  • Attempted first-degree burglary;
  • Arson;
  • Attempted arson;
  • Conspiracy to commit arson;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Aggravated stalking;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Battery;
  • Aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer or other specified officers;
  • Trafficking or conspiracy to traffic in illegal substances;
  • All other first and second degree felonies described in chapter 893of the Florida Statutes (Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act);
  • Aircraft piracy;
  • Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
  • Facilitating or furthering terrorism;
  • Treason;
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or possession of a firearm or ammunition by a violent career criminal;
  • Bribery;
  • Misuse of public office;
  • Extortion by officers of the state;
  • Misappropriations of money by commissioners to make sales;
  • Any crime committed by an elected official while in office;
  • Illegal use of explosives;
  • RICO;
  • Exploitation of the elderly;
  • Public corruption;
  • Any felony violation of election law;
  • Any crime designated a “dangerous crime” under Florida Statute § 907.041; or
  • Any offense committed in another jurisdiction that would be an offense listed in this paragraph if that offense had been committed in this state. 

If a person does not qualify to be granted clemency under Rule 9, he or she must file an application to have his or her civil rights status under Florida law restored with a hearing. The person will be eligible to apply only when he or she meets the following requirements: 

  • has had no new felony convictions for a period of seven years or more after completion of all sentences imposed for the applicant’s most recent felony conviction and all conditions of supervision for the applicant’s most recent felony conviction have expired or been completed, including but not limited to, imprisonment, parole, probation, community control, control release, and conditional release; 
  • has paid all restitution pursuant to a court order or civil judgment and obligations pursuant to Chapter 960 of the Florida Statutes; and 
  • must be a citizen of the United States and if convicted in a court other than a Florida court, the person must be a legal resident of Florida.

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Miami-Dade County Restoration of Civil Rights Process

The Commission on Offender Review will review applications for restoration without a hearing. If the commission denies the application, the person can apply for restoration with a hearing.

If a hearing is required, the Parole Commission conducts an extensive investigation to determine whether the individual is crime-free and rehabilitated. Examiners put their recommendations into confidential files given to the Clemency Board before hearings, and notification to the prosecutor and victims is also required when a hearing is required.

Applicants are not required to attend hearings, which are held quarterly. Applicants can make oral statements, but time limits do apply to these presentations. Board members have the power to question applicants who attend the hearings, and applicants must wait two years before reapplying if applications are denied.


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Florida Restoration of Civil Rights Resources

House Bill 903 (2018) | The Florida Senate — View the full text of a proposed bill that 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. State Representative Cord Byrd introduced House Bill 903, and state Senator Tom Lee introduced the similar Senate Bill 1654. Both bills have effective dates of July 1, 2018—if passed. 

Office of Executive Clemency | Florida Commission on Offender Review — Visit this section of the Florida Commission on Offender Review website to learn more about the Executive Clemency Board. The website also lists Clemency Board meeting dates for the year. You can also read answers to frequently asked questions, search for rights already granted, and apply for restoration of civil rights.


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Find a Restoration of Civil Rights Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you are hoping to have your civil rights restored in Miami-Dade County after being convicted of a felony, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm represents individuals in communities all over South Florida, such as North Miami, Homestead, South Miami, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Doral, Miami Beach, Aventura, Coral Gables, and many others.

Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who can work to help get your rights restored as quickly as possible. Call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


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Free Consultation

All fields are required. The use of this form for communication with our personnel does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Evan A. Hoffman

Evan A. Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.

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