Restoration of Civil Rights after a Felony Criminal Conviction

The following is notes and links on how to restore civil rights. Mostly for Arizona state laws and some references for Federal restoration.

In Arizona, defendants can get a restoration of their civil rights after completing their felony sentence. If it was a first felony conviction, this happens automatically. If it was a second or subsequent offense, it requires an application. If approved, it will restore the right to:

  • vote,
  • hold public office, and
  • serve on a jury.

It may also restore the defendant’s right to possess firearms, though there are some limitations.

Defendants cannot apply until they have:

  • finished their prison sentence and completed probation or parole, or
  • received an absolute discharge from imprisonment and waited for 2 years.(ARS 13-908(A).)

The application to restore civil rights can be filed by:

  • the defendant,
  • the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer, or
  • the probation officer.4

It can be filed with the court clerk in:

  • the Arizona Superior Court where the conviction occurred, if the conviction happened in state court, or
  • the Superior Court where the defendant now resides, if the conviction happened in federal court.5

Minimum required materials:
* Case Number (s)
* Conviction/Sentencing Date
* What you pled guilty to
* Date of Discharge from Probation
* Absolute Discharge from ADOC
* Information about financial obligations <— download  application to get your rights restored

The laws relating to restoration of civil rights were substantially revised in 2019 by HB 2080. <–[firearms] For a first felony offense (state or federal), civil rights, other than those pertaining to firearms, are automatically restored upon completion of the term of probation, or upon an unconditional discharge from imprisonment, and upon payment of any restitution

Link to download Instructions for “How to complete the forms and steps to restore civil rights / firearm rights


If this is your first felony conviction in this or any other State, any civil rights lost or
suspended by the conviction are automatically restored if you completed a term of probation or
received an absolute discharge from imprisonment and paid any restitution

(Then are these alternative[ly]):

I was sentenced to and successfully served a federal prison term. I have attached a copy of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons a Certificate of Absolute Discharge, or other official documentation provided by the
Bureau of Prisons that indicates successful discharge from Imprisonment

I was sentenced to and successfully served a term of federal probation and received an Affidavit of
Discharge from the judge who discharged me. I have attached a copy to this petition.

I have complied with all required terms of probation