Restoring Your Civil Rights After a Felony Conviction

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Apr 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Unlike a misdemeanor offense which generally has no adverse effect, a felony conviction in Arizona will result in the suspension of several important civil rights.   These include:

  1. The right to vote
  2. The right to hold public office of trust or profit
  3. The right to serve as a juror
  4. The right to posses a firearm

The Process to Restore Civil Rights

At the time a person is sentenced for a felony conviction, the court must inform a person in writing of the person's right to the restoration of civil rights.  A person seeking to have their civil right restored must file an application with the court.  The court has discretion to grant or deny the application. However, if the application to restore civil rights is denied, the court must explain the reason for the denial in writing. If approved, the court clerk must notify the department of public safety that a person's civil rights, including the right to possess a firearm is restored.  The department of public safety will place a notation on the person's criminal history that states there was a restoration of civil rights.  Unfortunately, the restoration of civil rights does not prevent the department of public safety from considering a felony conviction when deciding whether to issue a fingerprint clearance card.    

An application to restore civil rights may be filed upon completion of probation, or after two years has passed since a person was released from prison.  The application may be filed by the individual seeking to have his civil rights restored, their attorney or a probation officer.  However, a separate application must be made to restore a person's right to own or possess a firearm.  Again, whether to grant any application for restoration of civil rights rests within the discretion of the court.

Automatic Restoration of Civil Rights Following a Felony Conviction

In certain cases, a person's civil rights, except for the right to possess a firearm,  may be automatically restored following conviction for a felony offense.  To be eligible for an automatic restoration of civil rights, a person convicted of a felony in Arizona:

  1. Must not have previously been convicted of any other felony offense
  2. Must have completed probation or have been absolutely discharged from prison
  3. Must have fully paid any restitution which was owed to a victim or victims       

Again, a person's right to possess a firearm is not automatically restored even if these conditions are met.

Restoration of the Right to Possess a Firearm

Many people are concerned about their ability to ever possess a firearm after they have been convicted of a felony offense in Arizona.  This results from the fact that people own and possess guns for a variety of reasons including collection, protection, sport shooting and hunting.  The restoration of a person's right to possess a firearm can be ordered by the court only after an application is made. The application can only be made after two years has passed since the person seeking to restore their gun rights have completed probation or have been discharged from prison.  Again, if the application is granted, a notation would be placed on the person's criminal history by the department of public safety stating that they are allowed to possess a firearm.

In certain instances, the right to possess a firearm following a felony conviction will be prohibited or delayed.  These situations include:

  1. Dangerous Offense Convictions -  Offenses which are characterized as "dangerous" such as certain aggravated assaults, armed robberies, etc. will preclude a person from ever being able to possess a gun.  Dangerous offenses are usually those in which a weapon was used during the commission of a crime or the offense caused someone to suffer serious physical injury.  
  2. Serious Offenses -   A person must wait at least ten years after completing probation or being discharged from prison for a serious offense before applying to have their right to own or possess a firearm restored.  Serious offenses are defined in A.R.S. 13-706 and include homicide, sex offenses, aggaravted assaults, burglaries, robberies, etc.

You should be aware that possession of a firearm by a convicted felon who has not restored their gun rights is a class 4 felony in Arizona.  The offense is referred to as Misconduct Involving Weapons and can be punishable by probation or up to fifteen years in prison, depending on an individual's criminal record.  Consequently, anyone convicted of a felony must be certain that their right to possess a firearm has been restored before they take control of a gun.   

Call for an Immediate Consultation: (480) 833-8613

If you have been convicted of a felony crime in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale or any other city within Maricopa or Pinal County and are interested in having your civil rights restored,  it is vital that you contact a highly skilled criminal lawyer immediately. Tempe criminal defense attorney Raymond Kimble has assisted many people in setting aside convictions and restoring peoples' civil rights, including the right to possess a firearm.  Mr. Kimble can prepare the required pleadings in a manner so that the process is completed smoothly and without delay.

With a seasoned Tempe criminal defense lawyer on your case, you will have your rights protected as your attorney fights to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. Attorney Raymond Kimble has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been accused of various Criminal, DUI and Drug/Marijuana offenses.

About the Author

Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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