If you value and appreciate firearms, it’s probably because you strongly believe in protecting yourself, your family, and your home. In some states like California, if someone is convicted of a felony, even a felony DUI, they are barred from owning or possessing a firearm for life. But in Florida, that’s not necessarily the case. A lot of offenders can restore their firearm privileges eventually, even if they were convicted of a felony.
When someone is convicted of a felony in Florida, he or she will lose their civil rights, namely the right to vote, to be on a jury, to run for public office, and the right to possess a firearm. If you are convicted of a felony in Florida, you’ll be prohibited from doing these things until your civil rights are restored.
What is Clemency?
Clemency is the process where a convicted felon is considered to have their civil rights restored. Clemency is seen as an “act of mercy” and it relieves an offender of part or all of the punishment imposed by the law.
There are several types of clemency, including but not limited to: a full pardon (which includes the restoration of firearm privileges), a pardon without firearm authority, a pardon for a misdemeanor, restoration of alien status under Florida law, and specific authority to own, possess or use firearms.
If an offender receives a full pardon, it means they are completely forgiven for their Florida convictions and all of their civil rights are restored, including the right to possess a firearm. If an offender does not receive a full pardon or if they are not a candidate, the next alternative is a specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms.
For an offender to qualify for firearm restoration, he or she must meet the following requirements:
- It must have been at least 8 years since all sentences were completed.
- There must not be any pending criminal charges.
- There cannot be any outstanding detainers.
- The offender cannot owe any restitution to victims.
- The offender cannot have any penalties or liabilities over $1,000 as a result of a criminal or traffic violation.
If an individual was convicted of a military, federal, or out-of-state felony offense, he or she is not eligible and they cannot apply to have their firearm privileges restored.
Next: “Can a Conviction Bar Me from Owning a Firearm?”
To learn more about clemency and restoring civil rights after a Florida felony conviction, contact my Miami criminal defense firm today.