Rights Restoration

The consequences of a criminal conviction go well beyond jail time and probation.

Millions of Americans have criminal records, and the number of laws and policies excluding them from opportunities and benefits continues to grow.

But many people with criminal convictions can live productive and law-abiding lives after completion of their court-imposed sentences. One way to move forward after the criminal process may be expungement  of the arrest record.  But there are other rights that may have been affected, including civil rights (voting, jury service) and firearm ownership and possession.

Why rights restoration is complicated

Rights restoration can be complicated because of the interplay between federal and Virginia law. A right eligible for restoration under Virginia law may not be eligible under federal law. But the first step in any rights restoration process is state restoration of civil rights.

It starts by restoring your civil rights

Under Virginia law and federal law, civil rights are lost when someone is convicted of any felony. So what are they prohibited from doing?

  • Voting
  • Serving on a jury
  • Possessing a firearm.

Civil rights (apart from firearm rights) may be restored by the Governor of Virginia if someone applies through the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

For more information on this process, please visit the website for the secretary of the commonwealth.

You can start this simple process on your own without the services of an attorney.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for restoration of civil rights, you must have completed any probation or parole. Once restored by the governor, you are eligible to vote in both state and federal elections, run for office, and serve on a state jury (federal jury eligibility may be permanently barred).

To find out about restoration of firearms rights, please visit our firearms restoration and concealed weapons section of this website.

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RECENT CASE RESULTS

RESOURCES

Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Hollingsworth

| Criminal Defense, Drug Offenses, DUI, Expungement, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Juvenile Crimes, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses | No Comments
Michael Hollingsworth, Director of the Criminal Defense Division at Nichols Zauzig, has been with the firm since 2014. Find out more about him and how he became the passionate attorney…
Best Lawyers® names Nichols Zauzig "Best Law Firm" Top Tier in Northern Virginia

Nichols Zauzig named 2019 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® Best Law Firm

| Alimony/Spousal Support, Automobile Accidents, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support, Criminal Defense, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Equitable Distribtuion, Family Law/Divorce, Grandparent Custody/Visitation, International Matrimonial Law, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Medical Malpractice, Other Sex Crimes, Personal Injury, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses, Traumatic Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death | No Comments
For the 9th consecutive year, Nichols Zauzig Sandler is honored to be ranked in Tier 1 of the 2019 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list. Earning Tier…

Is expungement possible in Virginia?

| Criminal Defense, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Rights Restoration | No Comments
 Is a criminal record holding you back from a job, volunteer position or ability to conceal a weapon in Manassas, Prince William County or Stafford County? If so, what are…
Ready to get in touch? Contact Us Today

RESOURCES

Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Hollingsworth

| Criminal Defense, Drug Offenses, DUI, Expungement, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Juvenile Crimes, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses | No Comments
Michael Hollingsworth, Director of the Criminal Defense Division at Nichols Zauzig, has been with the firm since 2014. Find out more about him and how he became the passionate attorney…
Best Lawyers® names Nichols Zauzig "Best Law Firm" Top Tier in Northern Virginia

Nichols Zauzig named 2019 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® Best Law Firm

| Alimony/Spousal Support, Automobile Accidents, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support, Criminal Defense, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Equitable Distribtuion, Family Law/Divorce, Grandparent Custody/Visitation, International Matrimonial Law, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Medical Malpractice, Other Sex Crimes, Personal Injury, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses, Traumatic Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death | No Comments
For the 9th consecutive year, Nichols Zauzig Sandler is honored to be ranked in Tier 1 of the 2019 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list. Earning Tier…

Is expungement possible in Virginia?

| Criminal Defense, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Rights Restoration | No Comments
 Is a criminal record holding you back from a job, volunteer position or ability to conceal a weapon in Manassas, Prince William County or Stafford County? If so, what are…