If you have been convicted of a felony in Arizona, you have also lost your civil rights, including the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to serve as a juror, and the right to possess a gun or firearm. The process for restoring these rights depends on several factors. The SWLC’s Arizona Civil Rights Restoration Attorney can help you restore your civil rights.
If you are a first-time offender with one Arizona State felony, your civil rights to vote, hold public office, and serve as a juror are automatically restored after you have completed probation or received an absolute discharge from prison. Your civil right to possess a gun or firearm is NOT automatically restored. To restore your civil right to possess a gun or firearm, you must petition the court. If you served prison time for your felony, you must wait two years after absolute discharge from prison before filing the petition. If you were sentenced to probation, you may file the petition immediately upon completion of your probation.
If you have more than one Arizona State felony on your record, none of your civil rights are automatically restored. You must petition the court to have your rights to vote, hold public office, serve as a juror, and possess a gun or firearm restored.
When thinking about civil rights restoration, it’s important to be realistic. Arizona statutes forbid restoration of gun rights if the felony for which you were convicted is classified as a “dangerous offense” or a “serious offense.” There are also provisions of the federal Gun Control Act that can make it impossible for you to have your gun rights restored if you were convicted of certain domestic violence offenses. The SWLC’s Arizona civil rights restoration Attorney will offer you realistic help with these issues.
A slightly different process applies to restoring your civil rights after a federal felony conviction, and you cannot have your federal gun rights restored. However, you may still be able to have your state gun rights restored. Although this will not allow you to possess a gun or firearm, if it becomes possible to restore federal gun rights in the future you will have one less hurdle to jump.
If you hire the SWLC’s Arizona civil rights restoration attorney to help you restore your civil rights, we will also file a petition to Set Aside Judgment of Guilt. While a set aside may help you secure a job or feel confident that you are setting your life on the right path, it’s important to note that it is not the same as expungement. In Arizona, there is currently no way for you to expunge your record (except under very limited circumstances). This means that even with a set aside, your conviction will still show up on background checks, and you will still have to disclose your conviction on job applications and other forms. Nonethesless, a set aside is not worthless: it is one more step you can take to demonstrate to yourself and others that you are serious about rehabilition.
If you have been convicted of a felony, whether one or more, contact the SWLC’s Arizona civil rights restoration attorney to discuss the possibility of restoring your civil rights, including your right to own a gun. As a nonprofit, we charge a flat fee of $400 for this service; far below the average rates charged by other Arizona attorneys. If you have applied to the Civil Rights Restoration Clinic at the University of Arizona and they were unable to help you, the SWLC may still be able to help you. Contact us today.