Many of our previous clients have expressed their fears and concerns prior to hiring RMCR. Here are a few of the most common. Click here to submit additional questions.
What rights are lost when a person is convicted of a felony?
A felony conviction suspends a person’s civil liberties. The person loses the right to vote, the right to hold public office of trust or profit, the right to serve as a juror and right to possess a gun. A felony conviction may also prevent a person from obtaining business and professional licenses, government secured loans and housing.
Can a person restore their Civil Rights?
A person’s civil rights may be restored. A person with only one Arizona felony conviction, whose civil rights were lost or suspended, had their rights automatically restored upon completion of a term of probation, or receipt of an absolute discharge from imprisonment if the person paid all imposed fines or restitution. However, this does not apply to the right to possess a gun or firearm. To restore the right to possess a gun or firearm, the person must file an application with Superior Court in the county where you were convicted. A person with two or more Arizona felony convictions must file a Motion to Restore Civil Rights with Superior Court in the county where they were convicted. A separate motion will be required for each felony criminal case.
What if my felony conviction was in another state?
A person wishing to restore their civil rights must do so in the state in which the felony conviction occurred. Some states automatically restore a person’s civil rights upon completion of probation or discharge from the Department of Corrections. A person should contact the state in which the conviction occurred to obtain information regarding the restoration process.
How do I know if I am eligible to restore my rights?
If you only had one Arizona felony, your rights were restored upon completion of probation or absolute discharge from the Department of Corrections, as long as all fines and restitution were paid. However, to ensure that the court informs the elections office that you are eligible to vote you should file a Motion to Restore Civil Rights. Also, the court will not set aside a judgment of guilt without an application. You must file a Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Guilt. If you have two or more felonies in Arizona you may apply tor restore your civil rights upon completion of probation or two years from your absolute discharge from the Department of Corrections, as long as all your fines and restitution were paid.
How do I expunge my record?
There is no expungement in the State of Arizona. Arizona Revised Statutes allows a convicted person to apply to the sentencing judge to Set Aside the Judgment of Guilt, which reflects on that person’s record. (See below)
What is Setting Aside Judgment of Guilt?
Upon completion of probation or sentence and discharge by the court, a person may file a Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Guilt. Setting Aside a Judgment of Guilt releases the citizen from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction. Setting Aside a Judgment of Guilt does not seal or expunge one’s record. The record is still accessible to the public. However, the record will have a notation stating that the judgment has been set aside. Employers are more likely to view the Setting Aside a Judgment of Guilt favorably. The Setting Aside a Judgment of Guilt lets the employer know that the court is satisfied that the person has been rehabilitated. In the event that one is ever charged with a new felony, the judgments of guilt that have been set aside may be used at a subsequent trial as a prior felony conviction for sentence enhancement. Persons convicted of criminal offenses involving the infliction of serious physical injury, exhibition or use of a weapon, sexual motivation or a victim under fifteen may not have their judgment vacated.
What about my Gun Rights?
The Restoration of Civil Rights does not include your gun rights. Even if your civil rights were automatically restored after a single conviction, your Gun Rights are not restored. In order to regain your Gun Rights, you must file a Motion to Restore Right to Possess a Gun or Firearm. If the court grants this motion, you must then contact DPS to ensure that the State record is updated. Once DPS updates the State Registry, you must contact the FBI to ensure that they have received the Order to Restore Right to Possess a Gun or Firearm from DPS in order to update the federal database. Once ALL of these agencies have updated their registries, then your Gun Rights will be restored.
What happens after my motions are filed?
After completing the motions you wish to file with all of the supporting documentation needed to support your request, your case must be filed with the Superior Court where you were convicted. Generally, within 90 days, the Court will send you a written notice of whether your request was granted or denied. There is no hearing. If the Court denies your application, it will provide you with the reason for the denial. Motions for Reconsideration can be filed based on the listed reason. To date, RMCR has not had a Motion denied.
My Felony was dropped to a Misdemeanor. Why do background checks still show that I have a felony?
It appears that the state does not forward the information regarding a person’s Class 6 designation from a felony to a misdemeanor to anyone. This means that when background checks are done, the charges are still showing as felonies. If this is the case, you must first confirm that your felony was in fact designated a misdemeanor. If it has, you need to obtain a certified copy of the Order Designating Class 6 Felony as Class 1 Misdemeanor. If it has not been Ordered, you must prepare and file a Motion to do so. If the court grants this motion, you must then contact DPS to ensure that the State record is updated. Once DPS updates the State Registry, you must contact the FBI to ensure that they have received the Order Designating Class 6 Felony as Class 1 Misdemeanor from DPS in order to update the federal database. Once ALL of these agencies have updated their registries, then you will have a misdemeanor conviction instead of a felony. This will not automatically restore your Gun Right, however. (See Above)
Can't I do this without hiring you or lawyer?
The simple answer is “Yes” you can apply for these rights without RMCR or a lawyer. Our experience has shown us that most people that file on their own do not have the legal knowledge necessary to properly inform the judge of the legal obligation for the court to grant these motions as a result of the applicant’s historical compliance and ongoing law-abiding lifestyle. Regretfully, although lawyers should have this legal knowledge, most simply do not put forth the effort to do so after charging the applicant anywhere from $2500 – $5000. At RMCR, we have the legal experience and the personal passion to do this right. To date, every application RMCR has prepared for a client has been APPROVED by the courts.
Questions still not answered?