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How To Apply For A Pardon

If you are serving time for a crime where you feel you have been prosecuted unjustly, or where you feel you are properly penitent enough to be forgiven, you may be interested in pursuing a pardon. A pardon is a type of clemency that comes in the form of an Executive order forgiving you for your crime and pronouncing your debt to society paid. Although the crime still appears on your criminal record, if you receive a pardon, you no longer have to serve any penalty and are free from restrictions that might be barriers to ex-convicts in the civilian world. But how do you go about getting a pardon?

How to Apply for a Presidential Pardon

If you have a federal conviction, the only way to get a pardon is if the President of the United States gives you one. You don't have to apply for a presidential pardon; he can give you one at any time. However, unless you have a personal relationship with the president or a member of his staff, or have a very high-profile case, this is unlikely. However, you can still apply for a presidential pardon, with some restrictions. First, you must wait five years from the moment you finish serving your time before applying, to show that you are truly penitent and capable of being a productive member of society. You must then get an application for a presidential pardon. Your application should include a written defense of your pardon request, meaning a paper explaining how you have shown that you deserve to be pardoned. You'll also need three (non-family) character references, a letter explaining how you think a pardon will positively affect your life, and other documentation including your arrest record and credit report. Submit the application and wait for a ruling.

How to Apply for a Governor's Pardon

If your crime was against the state, you'll need to apply to the governor, or in some cases, the parole board or similar entity, for a pardon. The requirements for a state pardon may vary from state to state, but they are largely similar to the requirements for the federal pardon, in that you will need three letters of recommendation, a completed application, a copy of your arrest record and possibly other supplementary materials.

Starting the Pardon Process

If you're interested in applying for a pardon, or would like to know if you are eligible for sealing or expungement, which can legally conceal your conviction or erase a criminal record entirely, you should visit specializes in clemency, expungement and sealing records. They can help you find out what sort of relief you are eligible for, provide the proper documentation and help you fill it out and figure out where to send it. While is not a legal service, in most cases you don't need legal help for this process any more than you would need a lawyer to help you fill out an application to college or for a job. With the amount of opportunities that can open up to you if you clear up your record through clemency or expungement, the time and money you invest in order to apply can often be more than worth it.

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