If you were convicted of a crime in Georgia, you could be eligible for a pardon from the state. Speak with a DeKalb County pardons lawyer at your earliest convenience to discuss your conviction and what your options are moving forward. Assuming a pardon is possible, your criminal record will feature the state-certified order of forgiveness for the rest of your life.
Pardon processes differ by state, making it essential to work with a criminal defense attorney proficient in such cases. Doing so takes significant stress out of the process and provides more insight into what pardons involve.
Pardons come in full, partial, absolute, and conditional forms, all of which benefit from legal assistance. Full pardons absolve convictions unconditionally, while partial pardons absolve some of the crime’s consequences. Absolute pardons are granted without conditions, unlike conditional pardons that require individuals to complete certain tasks first, such as helping the police identify or find suspects. If the individual commits another crime while seeking a conditional pardon, it becomes void. A DeKalb County lawyer could help an individual determine which type of pardon best fits their circumstances.
Once individuals complete their sentences and resume daily life, they could receive a pardon if they have maintained reputations as upstanding community members. The pardon does not expunge, or remove, the crime from their record. Expungement is a separate legal process that also requires an attorney’s help, and it can occur after the individual has been pardoned. Seeking expungement with a pardon in place often strengthens the person’s case in the eyes of the court.
To apply for a pardon in DeKalb County, the individual, with the assistance of an attorney, must select from two applications: the general pardon application for persons not convicted of sex crimes, or the sex offender pardon application for persons on the state’s sex offender registry. To qualify for the general application, the individual must have completed their sentence(s) at least five years prior to application submission. They must also:
To qualify for the sex offender pardon application, the individual must have no pending charges, pay all restitutions and fines, and furnish a copy of their most recent risk level evaluation assigned by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board (SORRB). They must additionally:
Pardons differ from restoration of rights. A pardon is an official forgiveness statement that can help the individual continue their education or seek employment. Restoration of rights restores all civil and political rights, including citizenship if applicable. Any disqualifications and disabilities related to the conviction are removed, allowing the individual to serve on a jury, apply for and hold public office, vote in county, state, and federal elections, and serve as a Notary Public.
Serving your sentence and remaining an upstanding, helpful member of your community provides the opportunity to request a pardon. Work with a DeKalb County pardons lawyer to streamline the application process and avoid errors that delay results.
Speak with a law firm today to get started. An attorney could assist you throughout the application process and provide counsel and representation as you need it.