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A Step by Step Guide on How to Apply for a Pardon

If you got convicted of a crime, there is still an opportunity to clear your name from all your charges. You can do this by applying for a pardon.

A pardon is a decision done by the government, allowing a person to be free his past convictions as if he was never convicted. Thus, the person redeems his basic rights or restores his civil rights such as voting or even owning a firearm. However, granting pardon is not a requirement or a mandatory, it is purely optional on the part of a Head of State.

What should you do if you want to apply for a pardon?

  1. The first thing to do is to check if you have the qualifications to apply for it.

For proper guidance, you have to hire an experienced attorney. Every state has its own rules and regulations, own procedures and conditions for awarding pardons. There are several kinds of pardons; you have to know which one applies in your state. Types of pardons include full pardon, partial pardon, absolute pardon and even conditional pardon. Understand the eligibility requirements such as the waiting period, and other conditions that might be applicable to you.

There are also a number of criteria that determines whether a pardon can will be granted to you or not. There are a lot of factors and considerations. Thus, you need to meet with a skilled attorney. He or she can provide you with great tips to make your application stronger.

  1. The next thing to do is to do all the necessary paperwork.

First and foremost is to request an application. Some may be available from authorized offices, organizations or online. Gather the required and essential documents such as warrants, your criminal records and, results after appealing your conviction, if you did, and even letters from your company as proof of employment. It must show that you are not just a law-abiding citizen but a productive one, indeed.

You also need to have character references. The more character references you have, the better. Attach the necessary documents on your application. Submit the application but be sure to keep a copy for your own records. Submit truthful, accurate and reliable data.

You might also need to submit your fingerprint documents. Choose a government-approved fingerprint services provider so as to avoid any complications.

  1. You may be required afterward to attend a hearing.

You have to prepare for the hearing. Review your application thoroughly and anything that you have submitted before. It is best if you bring additional copies of your submitted documents during the day of the hearing. Often, the person applying for a pardon has the opportunity to speak. Make your statement truthful and appealing.

  1. During the hearing, you can opt to bring your character references with you to speak on your behalf.

There are questions that would be about the crime you have committed, your participation in the crime and about the kind of life you live currently. Be respectful as you answer. To strengthen your appeal, you can opt to ask your character references to attend and speak for you.


Legal help is very important when applying for a pardon, so be sure you put your best foot forward on your application.

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