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Thread: Restoration of rights (VA and USA)

  1. #1
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Someone I know has a non-violent, felony conviction on his record from many years ago. I came across some sections of the law that seemingly could provide a path for him to follow in order to one day again enjoy the same rights I do; including, but not limited to the right to keep and bear arms; specifically firearms.
    • Step one, obviously, would be to hire an attorney.
    • Step two, I presume, would be to petition the Governor of Virginia for the restoration of his rights. As I have read, this alone would not restore his right to possess or transport firearms; it is merely a prerequisite. [VA § 18.2-308.2], [VA § 53.1-229], [VA § 53.1-230], [VA § 53.1-231]
    • If successful in having his civil rights restored, would the next step be to petition his local Virginia Circuit Court for a permit to possess and carry a firearm; or petition the Attorney General of the United States "for relief from the disabilities imposed by Federal laws with respect to the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, transportation, or possession of firearms?" I'm not sure which should come first because it seems like an easy reason for the denial of one would be that the other has not yet occurred. [VA § 18.2-308.2(C)], [18 U.S.C. § 925(c)]
    • Then, if such permit is granted, he would be able to apply for and receive a permit to conceal a handgun. [VA § 18.2-308(E)(6)]
    • Lastly, would such a permit to conceal a handgun be valid in reciprocal states that have similar laws allowing a felon to petition for a permit to possess firearms? For example, West Virginia has concealed handgun permit reciprocity with Virginia and also appears to provide a means by which a convicted felon may lawfully possess firearms. [WV §61-7-7(c)]


    Do I have any facts wrong? Are there any attorneys watching this board who would be interested in such a task? How long would the process take?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    I'll answer those questions out of order.

    I do that sort of thing.

    How long depends on the facts of the case, but I'd say an average of six to eight months.

    If a state having reciprocal concealed carry privileges has a statute prohibiting felons from being in possession, that statute trumps the out of state permit. So, without more, having obtained a concealed carry permit in Virginia will not give a person any rights in other states. More on this below.

    It is not specifically necessary to petition the Governor. One can petition a circuit court for the same relief. The statute says, "Governor or other authority", and a circuit court judge is the repository of the sovereign judicial power of the Commonwealth. I'd recommend that route, unless one has political reasons for trusting the office of the Governor. Perhaps after the next election...

    Whether one petitions the Governor or a circuit court, once he receives a favorable outcome, he can petition the circuit court (if you start with the court, you can do it all in one proceeding) for restoration of rights and the granting of the permit. If one has already applied for a concealed carry permit and been denied, the petition proceeding in the circuit court can be combined with the hearing upon the denial.

    Ok, here's the interstate and attorney general of the U.S. addendum: full faith and credit. Under the U.S. Constitution, every state is required to give "full faith and credit" to the official acts of every other state, as is the United States. So, if one petitions the circuit court as outlined above and receives a favorable outcome, he can obtain a final order from that court that says his rights have been restored. That final order is an official act of the Commonwealth, entitled to full faith and credit in every other state. It will be accepted automatically by the U.S., with respect to the transfer provisions of the Gun Control Act (make sure a certified copy of the order is sent to the appropriate personnel at the Va. State Police and the Department of Criminal Justice Services so the database thing will be updated). But it will be necessary to file a petition in every state in which one wishes to have his permit honored, to "domesticate" the final order in that state; once that's done, however, that order becomes a final order in the court in which it's filed.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Not trying to take business away from User. In my opinion you do not need an attorney for a Restoration of Rights Petition. Here is a link to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's site for more information.

    http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov...y/clemency.cfm



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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    No problem for me. Everybody always has the right to represent himself, and there's always more than enough work for attorneys. I keep telling people that if they want to get rid of attorneys, just stop creating problems for each other. But those humans!
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    I did leave out one important thing. He who defends himsilf usually has a fool for a client. Anytime a Judge is involved you need an attorney. If my research memory is correct there is a particular way the Court Order has to be worded per the legal eagles at VSP.

    The Governor thing it appears to be a much simpler process.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    kenny wrote:
    I did leave out one important thing. He who defends himsilf usually has a fool for a client. Anytime a Judge is involved you need an attorney. If my research memory is correct there is a particular way the Court Order has to be worded per the legal eagles at VSP.

    The Governor thing it appears to be a much simpler process.
    Gee....I wonder how many felons Kaine has restored

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    Article with a large download of report

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/ne...222923/241120/

    some quotes from the article

    Virginia is one of the few states that doesn't allow felons, once they have served their time and finished probation, to qualify automatically for the voting rolls. Only the governor can restore that right.

    The report of the restorations, filed recently with the Virginia Senate, shows the secretary of the commonwealth's office received 2,535 applications last year.

    Of those, 1,529 were granted and 207 denied. The rest were pending at the end of the year or were returned because the applicant did not meet the threshold for qualification, Henderson said.

    Applicants must have a clean criminal record for at least five years before they can be considered to have their rights restored.

    Drug users and distributors, bad-check writers, embezzlers, burglars, welfare cheats, moonshiners, drunken drivers and forgers are among the applicants whose rights were restored last year.

    Kaine last year restored the voting rights of 70 violent offenders, including two murderers.

    A total of 4,355 registered voters were deleted from the voting rolls last year after being convicted of a felony.

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