What does it mean?
There are several types of rights restoration in Forida, from basic civil rights restoration, to restoration of firearms rights, to a full pardon from the Governor. Generally, all sentences must be complete, and all related financial obligations satisfied in order to be eligible for clemency. Even for ongoing sentences, there may be the possiblity of commuting the sentence to something less severe. For many minor felony offenses, restoration of civil rights may be automatic upon application (excluding firearm rights). Restoration of civil rights may restore the right to vote, and the possibility of getting certain licenses. Pardon can be full forgiveness of the offenses that one is punished for.
Do I need a lawyer?
No, it is not required that you hire an attorney, though it can be helpful. The process is designed to be non-adversarial so that attorneys are not necessary. There are several different types of applications, and often copeis of certified documents need to be collected. This can all be accomplished through leg work and some copying fees the local clerk. An Attorney can assist in this process, and can help put together the application, such as writing and selecting character references to use.
Who is eleigible?
Anyone is elgible for certain types of clemency. Most forms of clemency require that the sentence be completed. In-state convictions require an 8 year waiting period before requestion permission to own or use firearms. Those whose sentences are not complete may be eligible to have them commuted.
What if my conviction is not a Florida Conviction?
You may be eligible to apply to have your rights restored in Florida, except for your firearm rights. This includes out of state and federal convictions. For firearm rights, you will have to apply for clemency in the jurisdiction where you were convicted.
How do I apply?
The applications are available online on the Florida Parole Commission website. (link below)