Restoration of Civil Rights
Under Florida Statute § 944.292, a person who has been convicted of a felony has their civil rights suspended in Florida 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. Full and conditional pardons are exceptionally difficult to obtain, which is why many people who have had their civil rights suspended opt to apply for restoration of their civil rights.
The final determination on an application is made by the Florida Executive Clemency Board, which only meets four times a year. It can take several years for some people to regain their rights, but certain offenders may be eligible to have their rights restored without a hearing.Lawyer for Restoration of Civil Rights After Conviction in Broward County, FL
If your civil rights were suspended because of a felony conviction in South Florida, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel for help getting these rights restored. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who defends clients in Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Cooper City, Miramar, and several other nearby areas of Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Fort Lauderdale Restoration of Civil Rights Information Center
- Who can apply to have their civil rights restored without a hearing?
- How does the civil rights restoration hearing process work?
- Where can I learn more about restoration of civil rights in Broward County?
Florida Restoration of Civil Rights Eligibility
Rule 9 of the Florida Rules of Executive Clemency state that a person can have his or her civil rights restored by approval of the Clemency Board—excluding the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms—without a hearing if he or she 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 and all of the following requirements are met:
- The person 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;
- The person has no outstanding detainers or pending criminal charges;
- The person has paid all restitution pursuant to a court order or civil judgment and obligations;
- The person 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
- The person 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.
The person seeking restoration of his or her rights through clemency also must never have been convicted of one of the following crimes:
- Attempted murder;
- Attempted felony murder;
- DUI manslaughter;
- DUI serious bodily injury;
- Leaving the scene of 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);
- Attempted kidnapping;
- False imprisonment;
- Luring and enticing a child;
- Aggravated battery;
- Attempted aggravated battery;
- Felony battery;
- Domestic battery by strangulation;
- 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;
- Attempted arson;
- Conspiracy to commit arson;
- Aggravated assault;
- Aggravated stalking;
- Aggravated battery;
- Aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer or other specified officer;
- 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;
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or possession of a firearm or ammunition by a violent career criminal;
- Misuse of public office;
- Extortion by officers of the state;
- Misappropriations of moneys by commissioners to make sales;
- Any crime committed by an elected official while in office;
- Illegal use of explosives;
- Exploitation of the elderly;
- Public corruption;
- Any felony violation of an 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.
When an individual does not qualify for clemency under Rule 9, he or she must file an application to have his or her civil rights under Florida law restored—excluding the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms—with a hearing. He or she will be eligible to apply only if the following requirements are met:
- The person 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;
- The person has paid all restitution pursuant to a court order or civil judgment and obligations pursuant to Chapter 960 of the Florida Statutes; and
- In the case of restoration of civil rights, the person 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.
Restoration of Civil Rights Process in Broward County
People who are eligible for restoration without a hearing can submit their applications to the Commission on Offender Review, which will conduct a review. If an application is denied, the individual can apply for restoration with a hearing.
When a hearing is required, notification to the prosecutor and victims is required. The Parole Commission will conduct an extensive investigation to determine whether the individual is crime-free and rehabilitated, and examiners put their recommendations into confidential files given to the Clemency Board before hearings.
Hearings are held quarterly, and applicants are not required to attend such hearings—although they have the right to make oral statements if they do (although time limits apply to such presentations). Board members can question applicants who attend the hearings, and applicants whose applications are denied must wait two years before replying.
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.
Do you need help getting your civil rights restored in Broward County because of a felony conviction? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm for legal assistance.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman represents individuals in communities throughout South Florida, such as Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Margate, and many others. You can have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.