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Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 09:34 am
Getting a federal pardon can be a long and complicated process, but it may be worth it if you meet the eligibility requirements. A pardon essentially forgives you for a federal crime and restores some of your rights. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about getting a presidential pardon.
A federal pardon is a form of clemency that represents forgiveness for a federal crime. It is granted by the President of the United States. A pardon does not erase or expunge the crime from your record, but it does restore some of your rights that were lost as a result of the conviction. Some key things to know about a federal pardon:
The President can only pardon federal offenses, not state crimes. For state crimes, you would need to apply to the pardon board or governor in your state.
There are a few key requirements you must meet to be eligible for a presidential pardon:
Meeting the minimum 5 year waiting period does not guarantee you will get a pardon. The more time that has passed since the offense, and the more evidence you can provide of rehabilitation, the better your chances.
Here are the steps for applying for a presidential pardon:
This process can take anywhere from 1-3 years in most cases. There is no appeals process if your application is denied – you would have to reapply.
There are a few things you can do to better your chances of getting approved for a pardon:
Essentially, you need to convince the pardon attorney and President that you are rehabilitated and deserving of a second chance. The more you can demonstrate this through your actions, the better.
Yes, there are a few reasons why a request for a presidential pardon may be denied:
If your pardon is denied, the only option is to wait and reapply several years later. There are no appeals. The President has full discretion when granting pardons.
No, a presidential pardon does not expunge, erase, seal, or clear the conviction from your criminal record. The conviction will still appear on a background check. What it does is forgive the punishment and restore your civil rights. Some key things to know:
If you want the conviction completely removed from your record, you would need to pursue expungement or record sealing through the court system. This is a separate process from a presidential pardon.
No, a presidential pardon does not restore your right to own or possess a firearm if this was lost as result of a federal conviction. The only way to restore your gun rights is to have your civil rights specifically reinstated by the ATF Bureau or state where the conviction occurred. You would need to apply separately for this after receiving a pardon.
Yes, a presidential pardon can be revoked or “undone” if the recipient is found to have lied or misled the government about facts in their case. However, revocation is extremely rare. The US Supreme Court has upheld the President’s unconditional power to pardon, so revoking them is legally complicated. Only a handful of pardons have ever been revoked.
Here are a few notable people who have received presidential pardons over the years:
Obtaining a presidential pardon is a long, detailed process with strict eligibility requirements. If you meet the qualifications and can demonstrate complete rehabilitation since your conviction, submitting an application may be worth your time. Just understand that approval is never guaranteed. With strong supporting evidence of your character, contributions, and remorse, you can hope for the best. But there are limited pardons granted each year, so patience and managing expectations is important.
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