1. Who is eligible for Parole?
Currently, all inmates whose crimes were committed prior to October 1, 1983 are eligible for parole consideration. In addition, (1) any inmate who committed a first degree murder, a felony murder, or the crime of making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging a destructive device (or the attempt of) prior to May 25, 1994; (2) any inmate who committed all other capital felonies prior to October 1, 1995; (3) any inmate who committed a continuing criminal enterprise (violation of s. 893.20, F.S.) prior to June 17, 1993; (4) any inmate who committed a murder of a law enforcement officer (and other specified officers) prior to January 1, 1990; (5) any inmate who committed a murder of a justice or judge prior to October 1, 1990; (6) any inmate who committed a felony prior to October 1, 1983, or those elected to be sentenced “outside the guidelines” for felonies committed prior to July 1, 1984; and (7) any inmate who received a habitual felony offender sentence prior to October 1, 1988 are eligible for parole consideration.
There are approximately 5,900 inmates who are still eligible for parole consideration and numerous offenders who are still under parole supervision.
2. Can a person appear at Commission meetings?
All Commission meetings are open to the public and anyone may attend to observe. In the event a person desires to speak to the Commission at the time a particular case is being considered, he or she must request and receive prior approval of the Chair.
3. How does the Commission provide for victims?
The Commission provides victim assistance through its Victim Services Section for all victims and their families desiring or requesting information or help regarding cases in which they are involved. Staff in the Victim Services office are diligent in their efforts to locate victims of crime and to offer guidance and compassion through the process of providing the Commission input on matters brought before it. The Commission also works in conjunction with Victim Advocates, Law Enforcement, and State Attorneys to further address victims issues and concerns. Persons wishing to contact the Commission on victims issues should do so at 1-800-435-8286 or 1-850-487-3259.
4. How are Commission members appointed?
The Governor and Cabinet appoint members of the Parole Commission from a list of eligible applicants submitted by a Parole Qualifications Committee. The five member Qualifications Committee is appointed by the Governor and Cabinet, and accepts and reviews applications. The Committee submits a list of three eligible applicants, which may include the incumbent if the Committee so decides, without recommendation of its first choice. After the Governor and Cabinet have made their selection, the full Senate must then confirm the chosen applicant.
Criteria for Commissioners of the Florida Parole Commission
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1. How do I know if I need to have my civil rights restored? When can my rights be restored?
Upon conviction of a felony in the State of Florida, a person’s civil rights are suspended indefinitely unless restored by the Clemency Board. The four members of the Clemency Board are the Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You may search our website at www.FLrestoremyrights.com to verify if your civil rights have been restored and print out a copy of the certificate. You will need to enter either your Date of Birth or Florida Department of Corrections ID number, and will only be able to find your name and retrieve a certificate if your rights have been granted. A person’s civil rights cannot be restored until all sentences or supervision periods have been completed; all restitution owed to current or prior victim(s) is paid in full; there are no pending criminal charges, warrants or detainers; and established waiting periods have been met. Depending on your offense, you must wait until either five (5) or seven (7) years after completing your sentence or supervision to apply. The list of offenses and specific requirements for applying for the restoration of civil rights can be found in the Rules of Executive Clemency located on the Clemency page of this website. All persons seeking the restoration of civil rights must submit an application to the Office of Executive Clemency.
2. What rights are restored?
The basic civil rights that are restored are: the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to hold public office. The right to own, possess, or use firearms requires a waiting period of eight years from the date your sentence expired or supervision terminated.
3 . How can I apply for Clemency (including civil rights)?
All persons seeking clemency, including the restoration of civil rights, must complete an application and submit it to the Office of Executive Clemency. Application forms are furnished on the Clemency page of this website and by the Coordinator upon request. All applications for Clemency must be filed with the Coordinator on the form provided and include the required court documents.
4. Do I need an attorney to handle my application?
No, you do not need an attorney to represent you in the clemency process.
5 . Is there a filing fee for the application process?
No, there is no fee involved. This is a service provided free of charge by the State of Florida.
6. If my case is scheduled for a clemency hearing, do I have to attend the hearing?
You are not required to appear before the Clemency Board at the clemency hearing. However, any testimony you provide may aid the Governor and Cabinet in understanding your case and will be considered by the Clemency Board in its final decision.
7. If adjudication of guilt was withheld in my case, do I need restoration of civil rights?
No, if adjudication of guilt was withheld in your case, you have not lost your civil rights. However, per the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Firearms Purchase Program, you are usually prohibited from purchasing firearms for at least three years from the date your supervision terminated. You may contact FDLE at (850) 410-8139 for more information.
8. If I receive clemency, will my record be automatically expunged?
No. Neither a full pardon, nor any other type of clemency, will automatically expunge or facilitate the expungement of your criminal record. You should contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at email@example.com for information on the expungement or sealing of records.
9. If I have my civil rights restored, will my criminal history record be expunged?
No. In order to have your civil rights restored you had to have been convicted (adjudicated guilty) of a felony that was the basis for your loss of civil rights. Persons who have been convicted (adjudicated guilty) of a felony are not eligible for a seal or expunge of their criminal history under Florida law, regardless of whether their civil rights have been restored.
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