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Convicted felons can seek legal advice at no cost with public defenders

Posted: 11:21 PM, Jul 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-17 05:21:10Z

A team of county public defenders guided convicted felons through a process to restore their civil rights.

A free legal clinic at the at the Primavera Training Center gave people the opportunity to get advice at no cost.

Public defenders educated people convicted of federal or in-state crimes on how to restore their civil rights and the process.

47-years-old Donald Alexoff, says while he's made mistakes in his past - he wants to do right and get his rights restored.

"When I first wanted to do this I was told I would have to hire an attorney and its $5,000 to $10,000 and I can't come up with that money," says Alexoff.

Pima County Public Defender, Joel Feinman says getting giving people back their rights is critical to our democracy. "We look up people's criminal records and tell them if they're eligible or not to get their rights restored. If they are, we help them fill out the proper forms then take the forms to the court to file for them. We'll actually represent them in court standing in front of the judge."
      
Feinman adds, "A lot of people don't realize that in Arizona the first time you are convicted of any felony offense - you automatically lose all of your civil rights, your right to vote, right to sit on a jury, your right to bare arms, right to run for office."

The Public Defenders office is now having a legal advice workshop every Wednesday at 33 North Stone Avenue from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.