How can you get your rights restored?

A criminal conviction in Wheeling may often result in the loss of many of your rights (particularly if an incarceration accompanies said conviction). Yet how long does that restriction of rights last? You may think that once you have completed your imposed sentence, all of the rights that were taken from you will restored. Yet is that truly the case? 

The answer depends largely on both the rights in question and the type of offense you were convicted of. According to the Restoration of Rights Project, in West Virginia your right to vote is immediately restored upon the completion of your sentence (including any probationary period that accompanies it). The same is true of your right to hold public office (a conviction related to bribery, however, permanently disqualifies you from holding office, and a state felony conviction also bars you from serving in the state legislature). 

The following crimes make it a criminal offense for you to possess a firearm again: 

  • A misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence
  • Any crime punishable by a prison term of more than one year
  • Felony crime of violence against another
  • Felony sexual offense
  • Felony drug offense (excluding marijuana offenses)

If you have been convicted of one of the aforementioned offenses and you wish to own a gun again, you can file a petition with the circuit court in the county that you reside in requesting that your rights be restored. Such a petition will be considered if you can show that court that you are competent enough to responsibly possess a firearm and if restoring those rights to you does not violate federal law. However, any convictions related to domestic violence may prevent you from owning a firearm again due to such scenarios being subject to federal firearms disabilities. 



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