Civil Rights Restoration: Part 4 of 5

Factors Affecting Restoration Of Civil Rights And What Happens Next

What Is The Executive Clemency Board Hearing?

The Executive Clemency Board hearing is the hearing with four people; the governor and three members of the cabinet. They meet four times a year to review a set amount of applications. Through a conversation and through hearings, they determine what rights will be restored, if any.

Who Are The Major Players In Deciding Whether Or Not Your Civil Rights Are Going To Be Restored?

As of this writing, it’s the Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agricultural and Consumer Services. Usually, it’s the Governor and certain members of his cabinet.

Under What Conditions Might A Petition To Have Your Civil Rights Restored Be Denied?

The number one reason for an application to be denied is because you fall under one of those first or second degree felonies involving violence or sexual assault; murder, attempted murder, certain sex cases, certain robberies or burglaries. The Governor and members of his cabinet may not feel that there’s either been sufficient time or feel that the allegations of the crime were so serious that the applicant is not a candidate to have his rights restored.

It’s more of a judgment rather than hard and fast rules. Many times, the members of the cabinet are hesitant to give firearm restoration back to certain people who’ve been convicted of violent offenses for common sense reasons.

What Happens Once Someone’s Civil Rights Have Been Restored?

Tallahassee will determine if your civil rights are restored. You will then receive a letter that your attorney will review and get to the applicant. The letter officially lets them know that all civil rights are restored. Depending on the restoration, you can start owning firearm if that was one of the rights restored and you’re free to vote. While your conviction does not go away, you still get all the full citizen rights of a non-convicted felon.

How Can Someone Prove That Their Rights Have Been Restored And They’re Now A “Normal” Citizen?

Depending on what background check companies use, the background check itself may reveal that. However, the easiest and best way is the letter saying your rights have been restored, that is sent from Tallahassee to the applicant. That’s something we recommend you keep with you or take with you at all job interviews if it comes up. It basically proves that all your rights were fully restored.

Does Anyone Ever Go Through This Process On Their Own? What Kind Of Results Can They Expect?

Yes, they can. There are people that do try to go through this themselves and it’s something you can do. However, it is almost like representing yourself in a criminal case versus hiring a criminal defense lawyer. You have the right to represent yourself but it is not always smart. Just like if you need an operation, you (hopefully) hire a doctor rather than operate on yourself.   You need somebody with experience and someone who is familiar with the law to actually help you through this process.


Read about the Factors That Affect Restoration Of Civil Rights or call the law office of Blake & Dorsten P.A. for a FREE Initial Consultation at (727) 286-6141 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Contact Information