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What Is A State Clemency?

If you have a conviction on your arrest record for a state crime, meaning basically any crime that is not a federal one, you may wonder if you have options for obtaining relief. In some cases, such as first offenses or wrongful convictions, you do have recourse. Some of your options for relief of your criminal penalties fall under state clemency.

What Is Clemency?

Clemency is a way the government forgives you for a crime. It can come in the form of a reprieve, where your sentence is temporarily stayed, a commutation, where your sentence is reduced, usually from whatever your original sentence was to time served, or from death to life in prison, and most often, a pardon. In the case of a pardon, the original offense is forgiven. This doesn't mean it is wiped away, it simply means it is forgiven, so that the person suffers no further penalties and does not need to face any restrictions that might be a problem for other ex-convicts.

What Is State Clemency?

State clemency is simply a pardon or other form of clemency offered by the state, rather than the federal government. If you have committed a federal crime, your pardon will need to come from the President, but at the state level, it is the governor, or in some cases an entity like a parole board, perhaps in conjunction with the governor, that will determine whether or not you will receive clemency.

What Happens If You Get State Clemency?

If you are awarded a pardon by the state, it means you are forgiven for your crime. You will not be subject to any further penalties and any restrictions on your activities due to being an ex-convict will be removed. It does not mean, however, that your crime disappears. Anyone who accesses your criminal record will see that you had a conviction, even though it has been forgiven.

How Do You Get State Clemency?

You will have to petition the state for clemency. The process can vary from state to state which is why you'll probably want to make use of the service. finds out what kind of relief you are eligible for, then compiles exactly the forms you need to apply, accessible from your account page. You can also get all the supplementary information you need to put together a correct application, and they will even tell you where to send it. They can't guarantee you clemency or give you legal advice, but they can streamline the process for you and help you avoid mistakes that could make the difference between a life as an ex-convict and one as an unrestricted free citizen.

Other Forms of Conviction Relief

Clemency is not the only relief you can get for a state crime. You can also apply to have your record sealed or expunged. These can be even better than a pardon because if your record is expunged, it is as if your crime never existed. If your record is sealed, you can treat it as if it never existed, although a court order can unseal it. can help you determine your eligibility and application requirements for all of these forms of conviction relief.

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