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After being convicted of any felony offense, Arizona residents lose several civil liberties afforded to all other U.S. citizens. This may include the right to vote, hold elected office, serve on a jury, possess a firearm, acquire specific licenses, or receive certain government benefits. While most of these liberties are automatically restored once a convicted individual completes their sentence and fulfills all other conditions of their release, others require a more concerted effort to restore.
If you want to restore your rights following a felony conviction, seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group. Working with a Tempe rights restoration lawyer could substantially boost your chances of achieving a positive result from the process. In addition to ensuring you understand the procedural requirements, your attorney could walk you through every available option and help you choose the right avenue for your circumstances.
If an Arizona resident with no criminal history is convicted of a felony offense, almost all their civil liberties are automatically restored once they are released from incarceration, complete any term of probation included in their sentence, and finish paying court-ordered restitution. The one exception is the right to own and possess firearms. Notably, as of 2019, Arizona no longer requires all fines included in a felony sentence to be paid before the convicted party becomes eligible for rights restoration.
However, the rights restoration process is more complex for repeat offenders, as a Tempe attorney can further explain. No time restrictions are imposed on repeat felony offenders applying for rights restoration if they were not sentenced to prison for their most recent offense. Otherwise, they must wait a minimum of two years after receiving an absolute discharge from prison before starting the application process.
Gun rights are never automatically restored to convicted felons in Arizona. However, most people convicted of simple felonies can apply for restoration of these rights two years after their absolute discharge from prison. However, individuals convicted of any “serious offense”—such as arson, murder, most sex crimes, and most crimes against children—must wait a minimum of ten years after their absolute discharge before they can begin their application.
Furthermore, anyone convicted of a “dangerous offense” is ineligible to apply for restoring their firearm rights. The same lifetime prohibition may apply to certain other convictions, including those for misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. In these circumstances, the only way to restore gun rights is to have the conviction “set aside.” A rights restoration lawyer at our Tempe office can further explain this process in a private consultation.
The process of restoring civil liberties in Arizona differs depending on the nature of the offense and whether the convicted person had a prior felony record. It can be difficult to successfully restore your rights without legal counsel, making it important to consult with an experienced attorney.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, our Tempe rights restoration lawyers can be your steadfast allies throughout the legal process. We believe you have a way of life worth fighting for. Call us today to discuss how we can support you.