Restoring Your Civil Rights in Fort Lauderdale
Florida Clemency Attorney
A felony conviction can result in the loss of freedom through incarceration and financial penalties through fines or bail. Not only does a felony have the potential for prison time, but it results in the loss of civil rights like voting and applying for state licenses.
A crime should not rob you of your freedom and ability to be active in society. At The Hoffman Firm, we understand how complex criminal cases are and how emotional it may be to lose your freedom. Our firm is committed to providing comprehensive legal strategies to help our clients charged with felonies restore their civil rights.
If you want to pursue restoration of civil rights, call our Fort Lauderdale attorney at (305) 928-1669.
When Civil Rights are Revoked in Florida
According to Florida law, felony convictions remove the right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, and hold state licenses. These rights are taken away permanently unless the accused is granted clemency.
Clemency is the legal process of restoring civil rights. This power is given solely to the Governor and the Board of Executive Clemency. The Governor and Board review applications for clemency and determine whether the applicant is deserving of civil rights.
Types of Clemency
In the same way that there are degrees of crimes, there are different levels of clemency.
- Full Pardon: This is the unconditional release of a person from punishment and the forgiveness of guilt for any conviction in Florida. A full pardon results in the complete restoration of rights, including owning firearms.
- Pardon Without Firearm Authority: This is a full pardon with the caveat that the individual cannot own or use firearms.
- Pardon for Misdemeanor: This is clemency specifically for a person convicted of a misdemeanor
- Commutation of Sentence: The applicant may not receive a full pardon or restore civil rights. Instead, their sentence is reduced.
- Remission of Fines and Forfeitures: This is the suspension, reduction, or removal of fines associated with a criminal conviction.
- Specific Authority to Own, Possess, or Use Firearms: While this form of clemency does restore the right to bear arms, the Clemency Board will not restore these rights to those convicted in federal or out-of-state courts.
- Restoration of Civil Rights: This restores the rights and privileges associated with citizenship like voting, holding public office, and possessing a state license. However, if the applicant is required to be on a sex offender registry due to their crimes, clemency will not remove that obligation.
Clemency can restore full civil rights, including the right to bear arms, but the Clemency Board must approve full restoration and forgiveness.
How Are Rights Restored?
In many cases, the Department of Corrections will assist you with the clemency application process at the time of your release, but if the DOC does not begin that process for you, you can file an application process independently.
The Restoration of Civil Rights application must be sent to the Office of Executive Clemency. This application includes the initial request, an information sheet detailing the process, a request for review, and a request for commutation of a sentence (when applicable).
Once the initial application has been submitted, you will need to gather letters of reference and/or character affidavits. These character testimonies may be from any of the following people:
You cannot ask for a character affidavit from a neighbor, clergy member, or employer with who you have never had contact. These must be people who have worked closely with you and/or known you personally for a significant period of time before, during, and/or after your conviction and release.
You must keep copies of all application documents, including the character references. This will ensure that you have your own complete record of correspondence to keep track of what has been submitted.
Once the steps above have been completed, you must call the Office of Executive Clemency to ensure that all necessary documents have been received. Also, ask if the Office needs further information. Providing any and all necessary documentation and personal information is crucial.
While you can complete this process independently, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney first. Legal professionals can guide the clemency process and advocate for you.
Restoring Your Rights in Florida
Citizenship provides security, rights, and privileges like voting or a state license. However, committing a crime can remove those rights as part of your punishment even after completing your sentence.
Clemency can restore rights lost through the criminal justice system, but approval does not always mean full pardon or forgiveness. Applying for clemency is a multi-step process that may take months or years depending on your circumstances, and an application does not guarantee approval.
The Hoffman Firm believes that everyone deserves a second chance and the right to freedom. For over 20 years, Attorney Evan Hoffman has fought for the rights of the accused in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas. We understand how complex the justices system is from both sides of the aisle, which allows us a unique insight into the clemency application process that few others have.
Choose an attorney who cares. Choose The Hoffman Firm. Schedule your consultation today and take the first step toward freedom.
Our Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.
Decades of Experience
Attorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.
Premier Criminal Defense Firm
Experienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.
Proven Track Record
Client satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.
Florida Former State Prosecutor
Attorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.
Free Initial Consultation
We offer free initial consultations to ensure that we have your best interests in mind.