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Standards For Considering Clemency Petitions

If you have a criminal conviction and think that your sentence was too harsh or not merited given the circumstances, or you feel you have paid your debt to society and are entitled to having any further possible punishments for your crime withdrawn, you may wish to consider petitioning the government for clemency. Clemency is a form of legal forgiveness for your crime, which usually takes the form of a pardon, but may also come in the form of a commutation of sentence or a reprieve. To get a federal pardon, you will have to petition the president. For a state offense, you will need to petition the governor or an appropriate state agency, but the standards for consideration are similar.

Standards for Considering Clemency Petitions -- Time

Typically you cannot apply for clemency until five years after you have completed serving your sentence, although this may vary at the state level. If you are seeking clemency for a crime that you are currently serving time for due to a wrongful conviction, your best approach would be to petition for the court to hear an appeal to overturn the conviction.

Standards for Considering Clemency Petitions --Application

The individual seeking clemency must present the proper application forms and documents, which must include a clean criminal record since the time of the conviction and three letters of recommendation from character references who know the applicant well but are not members of his or her immediate family. Again, forms and necessary documentation will vary on the state level, so it is important to find out the specific requirements for your state if you are seeking clemency for a state offense.

Standards for Considering Clemency Petitions Justification

You will need to provide a reason why you feel that you are entitled to clemency. This may be that your conviction was shown to be wrongful, the punishment was not commensurate with the crime, or you have quantifiable evidence that you have paid your debt to society and would be a greater benefit to society with your crime forgiven.

It's important to note that even if you receive clemency, your conviction will remain on the public record. To erase criminal records requires an expungement, which has its own standards and regulations. However if you do receive an expungement of criminal records, it is as if the crime never took place at all.

Help with Clemency and Expungement

Whether you are attempting to obtain a federal pardon, state clemency, an expungement or sealed records, there is a lot of paperwork and information to sort out. You don't need an expensive lawyer, but to do it right, you will need some help. That's where can help. is an organization dedicated to helping you obtain clemency, expungement or another kind of relief for your conviction, allowing you to move forward with your life. To get started with, all you have to do is go to the website and fill out the free eligibility check. From there, you can set up an account to have the correct forms and instructions for your particular situation posted immediately, so you can quickly and easily get started on your road to true freedom.

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