Restoring Civil Rights After a Felony Conviction in Florida

Need help getting your rights back on track after a felony conviction?  Call us today (407)228-3838 to get an understanding of your options.

Those with felony convictions in Florida face several penalties. In addition to prison sentences and fines, Florida is one of three state where those with felony convictions lose all of their civil rights.

The loss of civil rights means that a person cannot:

  • Vote
  • Serve on a jury
  • Run for public office.

Florida has almost one million people without civil rights due to felony convictions and is home to almost 20 percent of the country’s disenfranchised population. Your Florida criminal defense attorneycan help you understand the qualifications for a restoration of civil rights and the process of regaining the right to vote.

The Process of Restoring Florida Civil Rights

In 2007, the Florida Board of Executive Clemency adopted a new framework for restoring the civil rights of those convicted of a felony offense, with three levels of approval for restoration depending on the severity of the offense. Those who had previously fallen within Level I had their rights restored automatically.

However, in March 2011, Governor Rick Scott made the process of restoring civil rights more stringent by removing the automatic restoration provisions. Under the rules, anyone convicted of a felony now needs to show three things to petition for restoration:

  • Completion of all prison sentences and supervision periods
  • Passage of at least five years since the completion of the sentence and supervision periods with no further criminal charges; those with violent felony convictions must wait at least seven years to petition
  • Payment of all ordered restitution

A person looking to restore his or her rights must fill out an application after the appropriate waiting period, which the Board will review. The Board separates applicants into those who require a hearing and those who do not, based on the convicted offenses of the applicant. The Board has a list of offenses that require a hearing, such as sexual offenses, RICO violations and drug trafficking.

The Board then decides whether to restore rights, either based on the application or after a hearing. If the Board denies an applicant without a hearing, the applicant may choose to appeal the decision by having a hearing.

How Long Does the Restoration of Florida Rights Take?

Those looking to petition for the restoration of their rights are in for a long wait. In addition to the five or seven year waiting period before a person may even apply for restoration, there is a significant delay in the time the Board takes to process applications. In July 2011, there was a backlog of 95,425 cases before the Board waiting for review.

Felony convictions are serious matters and have criminal consequences that reverberate far beyond prison sentences and fines. If you are facing criminal charges contact an Orlando criminal defense attorney who can advocate for your interests and try to help prevent you from losing your rights.

Recent Criminal
Case Results

Burglary of Dwelling; Petit Theft

Withhold with 6 months probation and impulse control; adjudication withheld

Grand Theft ($300-$5000)

Nolle Prosequi-Case Dropped

CT-Driving Under the Influence Car (M1)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

CT- Driving under the influence car

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

Grand Theft Third Degree

Adjudicated Guilty; One day jail/one day time serve; Restitution fees; Court Cost

Petit Theft < 300

We negotiated an agreement that entailed the State dropping the charge after our client completed a Pre-Trial Diversion Program. The Charge was dropped via a Nolle Prosequi.

Unlawful Speeding

Withhold of Adjudication; No points on license; Paid fine and clerk cost; 8 hour aggressive driver class; 90 days to satisfy fine and class

Shoot/Throw Missile Into Dwell/Struct/Veh; Child Abuse; Criminal Mischief; Battery (Domestic Violence)

No Information Notice - Charges Dropped

Attach Tag/Lic Plate To Unassigned Vehicle (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

DUI with Minor In Car or BAL of .20 or Higher

Pled No Contest, 1 Year Probation, 10 day Car Impound, Community Service

Motion to Modify Probation

Motion Granted in 48 hours

Petit Theft

Adjudication Withheld, 4 Months probation, Costs/Fines, Impulse Control Class

Petit Theft of $100 or MORE (M1)

Nolle Prosequi

Refuse To Submit To DUI Test (M1)

Case Dropped

Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F3); Disorderly Conduct (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped


Charges Dropped

Scheme to Defraud(F3); Grand Theft(F3)

Motion to Terminate Probation Granted

Unlawful Speed


Failed to Yield at Intersection

Not Guilty

Leave Scene Of A Crash W/Property Damage (M2)

Case Dropped

Motion to Modify and Impose a Withhold of Adjudication


Attempted Burglary of a Conveyance

Charges dropped

Possession of Cannabis (less than 20 grams)

Charges dropped


Reduced to reckless driving

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Charges dropped

Driving Under the Influence

Reduced to Reckless Driving

Violation of Probation

Case Dismissed

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