Can I Get My Civil Rights Restored in Arizona If I am a First-Time Felony Offender?
Arizona laws are stricter than most states when it comes to the civil rights of a felony offender. When someone is convicted of a felony, they lose their civil rights, which include the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, or possess a weapon.
While these rights can be reinstated, the previous law in Arizona required the offender to go to court and submit an application. However, a new amendment was made to this law, which changes the process for civil rights restoration.
The new law now allows first-time felony offenders to restore their civil rights without having to go through the court process. As long as they complete their jail time or probation, their civil rights are automatically restored without any further action needed on their part.
However, this new law comes with exceptions. The automatic reinstatement only applies to those who meet the following elements:
- The individual is a first-time felony offender.
- They completed jail time or probation.
- The offense is not classified as a dangerous or serious offense like sex offenses, armed robbery, arson, murder, and the like.
The new law only covers first-time felony offenders. Those with subsequent offenses, i.e. second, third, or fourth-time offenders, do not get their civil rights automatically reinstated. They still have to go through the court process for the restoration.
The new law allows out-of-state convictions to be applied for in Arizona if the offender now lives in the state. They can send their applications to an Arizona court and ask for their rights to be restored for a felony they committed in the previous state where they lived.
The qualifications are the same. They must be first-time offenders who completed their sentence and their offense must not be classified as dangerous or serious.