Felony Convictions and Voting in Arizona
Civil rights after criminal convictions are outlined in A.R.S. § 13-904. It says “A conviction for a felony suspends the following civil rights of the person sentenced….The right to vote…”
State law does not restrict voting rights for misdemeanor convictions. However, state law does remove voting rights after any felony conviction.
So what options does a felon have? Fortunately state law provides a route for rights restoration through A.R.S. § 13-905! The court look at several factors which are also outlined in the same statue.
- Except as provided in subsection K of this section, every person convicted of a criminal offense, on fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and discharge by the court, may apply to the court to have the judgment of guilt set aside. The convicted person shall be informed of this right at the time of sentencing.
- The person or the person’s attorney or probation officer may apply to set aside the judgment. The clerk of the court may not charge a filing fee for an application to have a judgment of guilt set aside.
- The court shall consider the following factors when determining whether to set aside the conviction:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense that the conviction is based on.
- The applicant’s compliance with the conditions of probation, the sentence imposed and any state department of corrections’ rules or regulations, if applicable.
- Any prior or subsequent convictions.
- The victim’s input and the status of victim restitution, if any.
- The length of time that has elapsed since the completion of the applicant’s sentence.
- The applicant’s age at the time of the conviction.
- Any other factor that is relevant to the application.
Is there anyone who can't restore their rights?
A.R.S. § 13-905 also outlines several reasons why an individual may not be eligible to set aside their conviction and restore their rights.
- This section does not apply to a person who was convicted of any of the following:
- A dangerous offense.
- An offense for which the person is required or ordered by the court to register pursuant to section 13-3821.
- An offense for which there has been a finding of sexual motivation pursuant to section 13-118.
- A felony offense in which the victim is a minor under fifteen years of age.
- An offense in violation of section 28-3473, any local ordinance relating to stopping, standing or operation of a vehicle or title 28, chapter 3, except a violation of section 28-693 or any local ordinance relating to the same subject matter as section 28-693.
As we discussed in the beginning of this article, these parts of the law take into account the individual circumstances of the person and conviction. Restoring civil rights can be complicated, so it’s best to have the help of an experienced attorney. If you’re ready to get your rights restored contact us today to schedule a consultation. We offer flexible and affordable payment plans.