If you were convicted of a felony in state court, you may be eligible for clemency through a pardon. A pardon is a type of legal forgiveness for a past felony crime. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles grants pardons on an individual basis after a complicated petition process. If any necessary information on your application is missing, your request for a pardon will be sent back to you without even being considered. A knowledgeable attorney could help you avoid this outcome.
If you want a pardon of your state felony conviction, you do not have to navigate this difficult process alone. An Atlanta pardons lawyer could help you prepare and submit a strong request.
To apply for clemency for a crime, a defendant can file one of two types of pardon requests under Georgia law. The first is for a General Pardon for those not on the sex offender registry. The second is for individuals who are also registered sex offenders.
To qualify for General Pardon without sex offender registry, the defendant:
For those on the Sex Offender Registry, the requirements are more strict. A defendant must:
Meeting all of the requirements can be difficult without an attorney, but a skilled pardon lawyer in the area could help.
The application process can be rather complex, especially for a defendant who does not have years of legal experience. A pardon application requires significant supporting documentation, such as a GCIC criminal history, certified copies of missing dispositions, current employment information, and much more. Any missing information, or even filing in the wrong type of envelope, will give the pardon board a reason to reject a filing.
Most applications take months to receive a response. It is not uncommon to wait around nine months or more to know whether a pardon is approved. This timeline will vary for every person and can be longer or shorter.
If a pardon is granted, a person’s conviction will be forgiven. It will restore a defendant’s civil rights in most respects, and an official note will be added to the criminal history to show that the offense has been pardoned. A pardon does not remove the conviction from a defendant’s criminal history but does help them move past the conviction to gain further education, special licenses, or employment.
If an application for a pardon is denied, there is no appeal process. If a first appeal is denied, a defendant can apply again in the future, but it is generally recommended to wait a couple of years before filing again. An experienced nearby lawyer could give a defendant specific advice on the best steps moving forward if their pardon application is denied.
An Atlanta pardons lawyer could represent you during your pardon application and allow you to rebuild your life after your criminal conviction. This complicated process should not be handled alone, and our firm is ready to help you. Call today to speak to a compassionate attorney and learn more about your legal options.