Feeling pumped to apply for your pardon and begin the process of getting a fresh start? That’s great! This enthusiasm will be helpful as you navigate the paperwork and Board of Pardons hearing. However, it is important to understand that getting a pardon is not going to be a “quick fix.” The pardon process can take a long time, and it requires applicants to be patient. If you are simply looking for an easy way to make your criminal history disappear, applying for a pardon is not the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you are truly remorseful for the crimes that you have been convicted of, you have made an effort to turn your life around, and you are prepared for the tedious nature of the pardon application process, you should apply for a pardon. Still unsure if you want to apply? Consider how long the pardon process will take.
Pardon Application Process
The process of applying for a pardon will take 12-18 months. This is because it takes time to gather the necessary documents, fill out forms, file the documents, and have a hearing scheduled with the Board of Pardons. There are only eight hearings for full pardons each year. This means that depending on when you apply, you might have to wait a few months to actually meet with the Board of Pardons in a virtual hearing. The whole process can and usually does take over a year to complete.
Once you fill out the full application, the Board of Pardons reviews your application, and you have your pardon hearing, the Board will make a decision to grant or deny you a pardon. If a pardon gets granted to you, this is only a temporary pardon. You will not immediately have your criminal record erased. This process will take an additional 8-10 months because it takes time to go through every database and erase your criminal history.
In addition, during this 8-10 month period, the Board of Pardons will be monitoring to make sure that you don’t get any new arrests. If you do face a new arrest before you receive your full pardon certificate, the Board can review your application and revoke your pardon. Once your criminal history gets fully erased, you will receive a letter in the mail. At this point, you can honestly say that you have never gotten arrested or convicted of a crime, and if anyone tried to check, they would not find a criminal record under your name.
As you can see, the pardon process is a lengthy one. It can easily take up to three years for your application to be reviewed and for you to receive a letter stating that your criminal history has been erased. If you still want to apply for a pardon, I commend your dedication, and I would like to help you in any way that I can. If you have any questions, you can contact me.