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Restoration of rights after a felony conviction

Once a person receives a felony conviction in the state of Georgia, that party loses certain civil rights. This loss can have a lasting effect even after the person repays the debt to society.

Thankfully, in some cases, there are options for parties to seek restoration of their rights after receiving a felony. To complete this process, there are a few important things to understand.

Requirements

In order to receive restoration of their rights, parties must complete and submit an application of pardon and restoration of rights. Along with the paperwork, applicants must meet all of the set qualifications. Applicants must have completed all sentences at least five years prior. They must pay off all fines, have no pending charges and be able to show they have a law-abiding life currently and for the past five years. These qualifications apply to most federal offenses, including white collar convictions. 

Rights to restore

It is important to note that this application process does not reinstate all rights. However, it does restore a few of the ones that parties desire the most, including the following:

  • Serving on a jury
  • Holding public office
  • Being a notary public

In the state of Georgia, once a person completes the requirements of the conviction and parole, that party automatically receives the right to vote again.

Pardon

Though a party must complete the same form, restoration of rights and receiving a pardon are two separate things. In layman's terms, a pardon is a forgiveness of the offense. This is different from an expungement as well. A pardon does not erase the record of the crime; however, it becomes a part of the record and may help those seeking employment in their efforts. 

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