One of the most common questions I am asked is the effect of a felony pardon on a person’s ability to possess a firearm. The answer is a bit more complex than one might think at first glance.
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has the authority in our state to issue pardons and restore “civil rights.” These rights include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and of course the right to possess a firearm.
When a person is convicted of a felony, they automatically lose the rights listed above. The only way these rights can be restored is to have their conviction vacated (via post-conviction relief, the subject of a future blog post) or to have the rights restored by the Parole Board.
It is vitally important that a pardon applicant specifically ask for restoration of civil rights clearly and unequivocally in their initial petition. At Skier & Associates, we have represented dozens of individuals in pardon requests and have been successful in obtaining relief from conviction as well as restoration of civil rights for many. The cardinal rule with the Board, however, is that “if you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it.”
If you have had your civil rights revoked as a result of a felony conviction, call us today to set up a consultation. Mr. Skier will be happy to fully explain what you can expect as you go through the pardon process, give advice that will maximize your chances of success before the board, and make you feel generally more comfortable with the process.