What is a Clemency Petition in Florida
Any individual that has been convicted of a felony in the state of Florida will lose his or her civil rights. These rights include the right to bear arms, the right to vote, and the right to hold public office. The function of clemency offers convicted felons relief of punishment and provides restoration of rights. Clemency acts as a government forgiveness that absolves the offender of any and all imposed convictions and punishments by the law. All applicants who wish to file a petition for clemency, including restoration of civil rights, must complete an Application for Clemency and submit it to the Office of Executive Clemency. Applications are provided on the Florida Commission on Offender Review website. All applications should include required supporting documents listed on the application or else the application will not be processed. Once completed and the offender has all the necessary documents, he or she must mail the packet to: Office Of Clemency, 4070 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida. 32399-2450. Once an application has been received in the Office of Executive Clemency, coordinators are required to review the application and its supporting documents. If the applicant is found eligible by the Board of Clemency, it will be sent through the investigative phase process within the Office of Clemency Investigations. Each case is handled by a case examiner and is processed on a first-in-first-out basis. If an applicant has been denied, the Office of Executive Clemency will notify the applicant and advise him or her the reasons he or she was disqualified. After the investigation and report are prepared, the eligible applications are forwarded to the Clemency Board for a decision. Any individual who has been either granted or denied any form of executive clemency may not apply for relief again until two (2) years from the date of the action (grant or denial) became final. If granted, the applicant is mailed a certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights.
Types of Clemency
Full Pardon- A Full Pardon restores the applicant to his or her full rights of citizenship possessed prior to any convictions and unconditionally releases the applicant from all punishments and forgives all guilt. This allows the applicant his or her right to own, possess, and use a firearm.
Pardon without Firearm Authority- A Pardon for Misdemeanor conviction releases a person from punishment and forgives guilt.
Commutation of Sentence- A commutation of sentence will not restore rights, yet it will reduce the original sentence imposed by the judge. Also, this form of clemency does not restore the right to own, possess, or use a firearm.
Remission of Fines and Forfeitures- A Remission of Fines or Forfeitures suspends, reduces, or removes fines or forfeitures.
Specific Authority to Own, Possess, or Use Firearms-This form of clemency restores the applicant's right to own, possess, or use a firearm, which was previously lost due to a felony conviction. Due to federal firearms laws, the Clemency Board will not consider requests for firearm authority from individuals convicted in federal or out-of-state courts. In order to comply with the federal laws, a Presidential Pardon or a Relief of Disability from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms must be issued in cases involving federal court convictions. A Pardon or Restoration of Civil Rights with no restrictions on firearms must be issued by the state where the conviction occurred.
Restoration of Civil Rights in Florida- This form of clemency restores to an applicant all of the rights of citizenship in the State of Florida enjoyed before the felony conviction, except the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms. Such restoration shall not relieve an applicant from the registration and notification requirements or any other obligations and restrictions imposed by law upon sexual predators or sexual offenders.
Restoration of Alien Status under Florida Law- restores to an applicant who is not a citizen of the United States such rights enjoyed by him or her, under the authority of the State of Florida, which were lost as a result of a conviction of any crime that is a felony or would be a felony under Florida law, except the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms. However, restoration of these rights shall not affect the immigration status of the applicant. For example: a certificate evidencing Restoration of Alien Status under Florida Law shall not be a ground for relief from removal proceedings initiated by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Contact the Office of Executive Clemency
The Office of Executive Clemency
Florida Commission on Offender Review
4070 Esplanade Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2450
Toll Free: 1-800-435-8286
Phone: (850) 488-2952
Fax: (850) 488-0695