American Pardon Services
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State-by-State Policies
Below you will find a State-by-State breakdown of the definitions of pardons or expungements and other useful information pertaining to pardon or expungement policies in each individual State.

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Alabama

A pardon does not restore full rights. The Board will decide if full rights are to be given. The Board may grant a full pardon, which restores all rights, or they may grant a pardon with restrictions. The Board may restrict the right to possess a firearm and/or they may require that a person convicted of a sex offense continue to comply with all sex offender restrictions. They may also not relieve an offender of the consequences of the habitual offender act. The Board has the discretion to place other restrictions as deemed appropriate.

A pardon with restoration of civil and political rights may be granted to applicants who reside in Alabama. If the applicant resides in another state, we recommend that they apply in the state of residence. A pardon from Alabama on a federal case is only good in Alabama.

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Alaska

You can apply to be relieved from further punishment and disabilities imposed by reason of conviction of a criminal offense.  It is an act of grace which represents forgiveness for the particular crime.

The primary legal effect of a pardon is that it sets aside a conviction for a crime committed under the laws of the State of Alaska or the Territory of Alaska. This serves to relieve the person to whom it is granted from all further punishment and other legal consequences imposed by reason of the conviction.  A pardon will restore your rights to own and register a firearm.

You may submit a written request to the head of the agency responsible for maintaining past conviction or current offender information, asking the agency to seal your criminal record.

A person about whom information is sealed under this section may deny the existence of the information and of an arrest, charge, conviction, or sentence shown in the information.
Automatic Restoration of Rights:
The rights to vote and to serve on a jury are lost upon conviction of a felony and automatically restored upon completion of sentence (“unconditional discharge”).  Alaska Stat. §§ 09.20.020; 15.05.030(a); 33.30.241. A felony offender may not possess a concealed weapon for 10 years following discharge (lost permanently if offense is one against the person), unless conviction set aside or pardoned.

Eligibility:
Two years after completion of sentence. Persons convicted under federal law or convicted under the law of another state are ineligible for a Governor’s pardon. 

Effect:
A pardon has the effect of “setting aside” the conviction, so that individual is deemed not to have been convicted (though conviction remains on the record).

LEGAL EFFECTS OF A PARDON IN ALASKA

Rights
One of the primary misconceptions about pardons in Alaska is that a pardon is the only manner by which one may have one’s rights restored. In some states a pardon is the only manner by which a convicted felon may have his or her civil rights restored. However, in Alaska some rights are automatically restored upon unconditional discharge, which is the completion of one’s sentence, including any period of probation, discretionary parole, or mandatory parole.

Right to Serve on a Jury: A person is disqualified from serving as a juror if the person has been convicted of a felony for which the person has not been unconditionally discharged. AS 09.20.037(1)
Thus, in Alaska, a pardon is not necessary to restore one’s eligibility to serve on a jury or to vote. The right to vote and the right to serve on a jury are automatically restored to felons upon unconditional discharge of the sentence.

Voting Rights: Any person convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude under federal or state law may not vote in a federal, state or municipal election from the date of the conviction through the date of unconditional discharge. AS 15.05.030. Upon presenting proof that the person is unconditionally discharged from custody the person may register to vote [AS 15.07.135]. If you wish to participate in an election in Alaska after unconditional discharge of your sentence, contact your voting district’s regional officer.


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Arizona

A Pardon is a form of Executive Clemency which relieves an offender from further punishment and disabilities imposed by reason of conviction of a criminal offense.  It is an act of grace which represents forgiveness for the particular crime. A pardon is granted only for felonies. You can apply at any time after your sentence is completed. All civil rights are restored, which includes the right to possess firearms, right to vote, right to hold public office and to sit on a jury.

State offenders can have their convictions “set-aside” or “vacated” by the sentencing court.  This process dismisses the charges against them upon successful completion of probation or sentence and discharge. This relief also restores all rights and eliminates all disabilities and penalties as a result of the conviction.

Automatic Restoration of Rights: Conviction of a felony suspends the right to vote, to hold office, to sit on a jury, and to possess firearms. Ariz. Const. art. VII, § 2(c); Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-904(A)(1); 16-101(A)(5); 21-201(3). See also § 14-3203 (right to serve as
executor); § 14-5651(C)(3)(fiduciary).

For a first felony offender (state or federal), civil rights, other than those pertaining to firearms, are automatically restored upon completion of the term of probation, or upon an unconditional discharge from imprisonment and upon completion of payment of any fine or restitution. Ariz. state recidivists must seek restoration in the jurisdiction of their conviction.

Pardon restores firearms privileges only if specified in the pardon document.

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Arkansas

A pardon is the exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of an offense or crime. A pardon can restore the right to serve on a jury and the right to possess firearms.

An expungement is automatically granted after the pardon has been granted. The record “shall be sealed, sequestered, and treated as confidential”.  The individual may state that no such conduct ever occurred and that no such records exist. 

A person whose record is expunged “shall have all privileges and rights restored, shall be completely exonerated, and the record which has been expunged shall not affect any civil rights or liberties, unless otherwise specifically provided for by law.” You can apply at any time after completing your sentence.

No person shall possess a firearm who has been convicted of a felony. A.C.A. 5-73-103(a)(1). The Governor may restore this privilege with a pardon expressly restoring the right or without a pardon under certain circumstances. A.C.A. 5-73-103(d). An expunged conviction may serve as the basis for a conviction under this statute if the offense was committed after March 12, 1995. See Act 595 of 1995; see also Attorney General’s Op. 2002-173.
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California

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction.  A person who receives a pardon may serve on a jury. A full pardon will enable one to possess any type of weapon that may lawfully be possessed by others in California.

An expungement relieves the defendant of certain penalties and disabilities that result from a criminal action.  Under California law, once a case is expunged you are no longer required to disclose these convictions on job applications and in interviews for certain jobs. 

Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view.  When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it.  Sealed records remain in a confidential file on the Department of Justice’s computer but it does not show up on record checks such as background checks done by employers.

If you were arrested for or convicted of the following offenses before January 1, 1976, you can request for the record to be purged

Possession of “not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana”;
unlawful possession of marijuana paraphernalia;
unlawful presence in a place where marijuana is being used; unlawfully being under the influence of marijuana.

When a case is purged, the marijuana arrest and conviction records are completely removed from the rap sheet.
California Expungement: An expungement relieves the defendant of certain penalties and disabilities that result from a criminal action. Under California law, once a case is expunged you are no longer required to disclose these convictions on job applications and in interviews for certain jobs.
California Seal: Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Sealed records remain in a confidential file on the Department of Justice’s computer but it does not show up on record checks such as background checks done by employers.

California Pardon: A pardon in California is a last resort for people who do not qualify for expungement or sealing. A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction (minimum of 5 years for a pardon). A person who receives a pardon may serve on a jury. A full pardon will enable one to possess any type of weapon that may lawfully be possessed by others in California.

Effect of a Pardon: A pardon does not seal the individual's criminal record, and the pardon is itself a public record. When a pardon is granted, the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are notified so that they may update their records on the applicant. The pardon is filed with the Secretary of State, reported to the Legislature, and is a public record.

Restoration of Rights
The most frequent reasons for requesting a pardon are for personal satisfaction and for licensing, bonding, or other employment purposes.

A pardon does not seal or expunge the record of the conviction. (Penal Code sec. 4852.17.) If the person is subsequently convicted of a new offense, the prior conviction may be considered even after a pardon has been granted. A person who has been pardoned cannot say that he or she has no record of arrests or convictions. The person can, however, say that he or she has been convicted and pardoned.

A pardon is not necessary to vote. A person who receives a pardon may serve on a jury. A person convicted of a felony who receives a full and unconditional pardon may be employed as a state parole officer or as a county probation officer but cannot otherwise be employed as a peace officer.

A person convicted of a felony cannot own or possess firearms. If the individual receives a full and unconditional pardon, he or she may own or possess any type of weapon that may lawfully be possessed by others in California, unless the person was convicted of an offense that involved the use of a dangerous weapon. A California pardon does not necessarily permit the possession of weapons under the laws of another state or the federal government. The law governing the right to own or possess firearms can be found in the Penal Code.


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Colorado

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction. A pardon restores firearm privileges.  It also removes legal disabilities, including employment disqualifications, and is likely to enhance an individual’s employability.

An expungement is the process that removes a criminal record from general view. An expungement gives you the ability to indicate that no record exists for employment purposes. 

Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it.
Eligibility: Pardon applications are not generally accepted until at least 10 years after completion of sentence. Persons convicted under federal law or in another state are not eligible for gubernatorial pardon.

Process: Application must be sent for comment to DA and court, which have 10 days to comment.
What are sealed records
Sealed criminal records under Colorado law are records involving a criminal incident that can be represented not to exist. Under Colorado law, most adult criminal records are accessible to the public for inspection during regular business hours. One exception is where you have not been charged, the case has been completely dismissed, or you were acquitted of all charges and you are granted a
court order to seal any record of the incident in the case.

What is the process for sealing criminal records?
To seal your records, you must petition the district court of the district in which arrest and criminal records information pertaining to you are located.
You must file a separate petition for each case or incident you want sealed. There is a fee for each petition you file.
After you obtain the necessary forms, you must determine whether you are eligible under the statute to have your record(s) sealed.

You are eligible to have records sealed ONLY if
• you were not charged;
• the case against you was completely dismissed; or
• you were acquitted of all charges.

If you are eligible, the records that you may seek to seal can include:
• the police contact;
• an arrest;
• an indictment, information, or summons and complaint and any court case associated with it;
• any other record held by a criminal justice agency regarding the incident.
“If the offense was not charged, or the charge was dismissed, due to a plea agreement in a separate case, the person may petition to have the records sealed if (a) the petition is filed 10 years or more after the date of final disposition, and (b) the person has not been charged for any criminal offense in the 10 years since the date of final disposition. (Colo. Rev. Stat. 24-72-308)”

You may NOT petition to seal any records of cases involving a conviction on a DUI or DWAI and certain traffic offenses and infractions. No criminal justice information involving a CONVICTION may be sealed. It is your responsibility to specify, in your petition, each criminal justice agency that has a copy of your record(s). After the petition is filed and the fees are paid, the court sets a hearing date. Each agency that you listed on the petition will receive a notice of the petition and the hearing. If the court decides to grant your Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records, it orders the record to be sealed.



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Connecticut

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction.  A pardon will automatically erase court records of the offense and prohibits employers from inquiring about the record.  A pardon will restore firearm rights if they were taking away from you after conviction. It is also possible to get a provisional pardon, which merely states that the applicant is employable, making it illegal for the employer to deny employment based on the applicant’s criminal record alone.

After receiving an expungement the record will be automatically erased.  Any person or agency in charge of the retention or controlling of the record may not disclose to anyone any information pertaining to the charged erased. Expungements are available only for juveniles and non-convictions.

A pardon means that you have been officially excused for your crime, but you are not cleared of guilt for the crime. A pardon can be absolute (total) or conditional (partial). If you are granted an absolute pardon for any conviction, that charge will be removed/erased from your record.

You can apply for a pardon if at least 5 years have passed since your last felony conviction (3 years for a misdemeanor conviction). To apply, you must complete a long application (there are very strict deadlines) and you may have to go to a hearing. In Connecticut, applications are accepted and hearings are held throughout the state at least once every three months.


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Delaware

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction. A pardon will fully restore all civil rights to the person being pardoned. The right to vote, right to serve on a jury, the right to purchase & register a firearm. You can apply for a pardon 5 years after completing your sentence.

An Expungement is the sealing of a person's criminal record. The expungement process will seal a criminal record from public view.
Expungement seals all criminal records associated with an arrest. An official copy is kept for law enforcement eyes only, but records open to public view are destroyed. The arrest will not turn up in a criminal background check by schools, lenders or employers. Any conviction (guilty plea or found guilty at trial) cannot be expunged if you were an adult (age 18) at the time. However, most juvenile convictions can be expunged.
You are eligible for expungement in Delaware if:

  • You were found not guilty at trial
  • Charges were dismissed by the court
  • Prosecutors dropped the charges 
  • You received probation before judgment
  • You qualified for a drug diversion program
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District of Columbia

A person must request clemency from the office of the Pardon Attorney. A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction. A pardon is taken as evidence of rehabilitation of good character and it prevents future punishment of the conviction by restoring legal rights.  All copies of the record are to be destroyed and erased from all databases.

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Florida

A Pardon is a constitutionally authorized process that provides the means through which convicted felons may seek restoration of their civil rights and may be considered for relief from punishment.  The restoration of voting rights and other civil rights, pardons, commutation of sentence, relief from fines and forfeitures, and restoration of firearm authority will be granted.

When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. 

Any criminal history record that is ordered to be expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction must be physically destroyed or obliterated by any criminal justice agency having custody of such record.

Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it, but certain governmental or related entities may have access to it.
When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.

When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that "Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record". Florida expungements are for misdemeanors or non-convictions only.
Once an order has been issued by the court of competent jurisdiction to seal or expunge your criminal history record and a certified copy of this order has been received by the FDLE, it will be complied with in accordance with state statutes.  In order to have your civil rights restored you had to have been convicted (adjudicated guilty) of a felony that was the basis for your loss of civil rights. Persons who have been convicted (adjudicated guilty) of a felony are not eligible for a seal or expunge of their criminal history under Florida law, regardless of whether their civil rights have been restored.
Florida pardons come in several categories:
 RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS WITHOUT A HEARING CASES: This type of investigation is designed to process less serious offenses and requires you to be crime and arrest free for 5 years prior to being reviewed by the Florida Parole Commission.
 RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS WITH A HEARING CASES: This type of investigation is designed to process the more serious offenses and requires that 7 years have passed since the date of completion of all sentences and conditions of supervision imposed for all felony convictions.
PARDON OR PARDON WITHOUT FIREARM AUTHORITY; The Rules require that you must have completed all sentences imposed and all conditions of supervision have expired or been completed, for a period of no less than 10 years.

FIREARM AUTHORITY: The Rules require that you must have completed all sentences imposed and all conditions of supervision have expired or been completed, for a period of no less than 8 years.
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Georgia

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction.  The right to vote, right to serve on a jury, the right to purchase or possess firearms will be restored.

The terms "expunge" and "expunction" shall mean that all records or other evidence of the existence of the complaint shall be destroyed.
Automatic Restoration of Rights:
Civil rights lost upon conviction of a "felony involving moral turpitude." Right to vote restored automatically “upon completion of the sentence.” Id. Convicted person may not hold public office “unless that person's civil rights have been restored and at least ten years have elapsed from the date of the completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction of another felony involving moral turpitude.” To regain the right to sit on a jury, either a pardon or restoration of civil rights is necessary.

• Eligibility: For restoration of rights, the applicant must have completed sentence (including fine), have no pending charges, and completed two years without any criminal involvement. For a full pardon, applicant must have completed a five-year waiting period after completion of sentence with no criminal involvement. Waiver available “if the waiting period is shown to be detrimental to the applicant's livelihood by delaying his qualifying for employment in his chosen profession.”

• Effect: Restoration of rights affects only basic civil rights (jury, public office). A full pardon which does not imply innocence relieves “civil and political disabilities imposed because of conviction,” A pardon, however, does not restore a convicted felony offender to a public office he was forced to relinquish as a result of the conviction.

• Firearms: Firearm privileges are restored only if a pardon expressly authorizes the receipt, possession, or transportation of a firearm. A pardon applicant may request that the pardon be specially worded to restore this firearm right, but he must provide in detail his reason for the request, and provide three character witnesses.
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» Hawaii

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction.   A pardon will state that the person has been rehabilitated, relieves legal disabilities and prohibitions. Recipient may deny conviction (Haw.
Rev. Stat. §§ 353-62, 353-72). You may apply for your pardon once your sentence is complete.

Expungement is the sealing of a person's criminal record.  Upon the issuance of the expungement certificate, the person applying for the order shall be treated as not having been arrested.

Expungement: Available for nonviolent first offender probationers under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 853-1(e). If the defendant successfully completes probation, the court discharges him and dismisses the charges without an adjudication of guilt. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 853-1. One year after the discharge and dismissal, the defendant may apply for expungement. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 853-1(e). See also Haw. Rev. Stat. § 831-3.2(a)(5). The procedure is limited to persons with no prior felony convictions, and not available for some offenses. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 853-4. Also provision for conditional discharge and expungement for first time drug offenders. Haw. Rev. Stat.
§§ 712-1255, 1256. Office of the Attorney General: 808-586-1500.

Nonconviction records: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 831-3.2 (persons entitles to expungement by virtue of not having been convicted shall be treated as having not been arrested).

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» Idaho

A pardon is a distinct achievement based upon proof of a useful, productive and law-abiding life following conviction.  A pardon will state that the person has been rehabilitated, relieves legal disabilities and prohibitions.  A pardon will relieve state firearms disabilities, as well as welfare and employment disabilities.

An application for a pardon may not be considered by the Commission of Pardons and Parole until a period of time has elapsed since the applicant’s discharge from custody. Applications for pardon for non-violent and non-sex crimes may be submitted for consideration no sooner than 3 years after completion of the sentence. Applications for pardon for violent or sex crimes or other crimes against a person may be submitted 5 years after completion of the sentence.
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Illinois

A pardon will remove the penalties and disabilities that resulted from the conviction and will restore all civil rights. The agencies holding the record will destroy the record or remove all mention of your name from the public record. It relieves the defendant of certain penalties and disabilities that result from a criminal action.  Even if you were found not guilty you still need to be expunged. For an expungement, you must either have a non-conviction or first get a pardon.

Under the laws of the State of Illinois you do not have disclose any past conviction or charges to any employers or potential employers after you have been expunged or sealed.   If you have your records expunged, in many cases, the records will be “off-limits” to employers and the rest of the general public and treated like they never existed. For example, when you fill out a job application, you do not have to tell a potential employer about the case you have had expunged.
Under the old Criminal Identification Act, only qualifying misdemeanors could be sealed. However, the Illinois Legislature passed new laws effective June 1, 2005, making it possible for Class 4 Felony Drug Possession and Class 4 Felony Prostitution convictions to be eligible to be sealed 4 years after the sentence is completed.

The Criminal Identification Act was designed to expunge and seal criminal records. It does not apply to traffic tickets, divorces or orders of protection.

Felonies in the State of Illinois:
Most felony arrests and convictions cannot be expunged or sealed without a pardon which specifically authorizes expungement. There are a few exceptions, however; arrests and convictions for Class 4 Felony Drug Possession and Class 4 Felony Prostitution cases may qualify to be sealed. Felony arrests that do not result in a conviction may be expunged.

Misdemeanors in the State of Illinois:

• Most misdemeanor convictions in Illinois can be expunged or sealed. Class 4 Felony Drug Possession:

• If you are asking to have your class 4 Felony Drug Possession case sealed, the Criminal Identification Act requires that you attach proof to your petition that you have passed a drug test taken within 30 days before you file your petition. Only drug convictions for “simple” possession cases can be sealed. Drug convictions for “possession with intent” cannot be sealed.


Pardons in the State of Illinois:

• A pardon will remove the penalties and disabilities that resulted from the conviction and will restore all civil rights. The agencies holding the record will destroy the record or remove all mention of your name from the public record. It relieves the defendant of certain penalties and disabilities that result from a criminal action. You can apply for a pardon 5 years after the completion of your sentence.


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Indiana

To be eligible for a pardon, you must be five years removed from the completion of your sentence. A Pardon is essentially the abolishment of guilt and automatically becomes grounds for judicial expungement.  A pardon will restore rights and removes disabilities lost from a conviction. Firearm privileges can also be restored.

In Indiana, under some circumstances, you may be able to have a criminal record expunged, which means the records will be delivered to you or destroyed. All references and information of the arrest and booking, the case chronology, case charges, criminal history and charge disposition that is electronically maintained in the Justice system will be destroyed.

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Iowa

A pardon, which if full and unconditional, relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon restores all citizenship rights (right to vote, hold public office, and firearm rights). Although you may submit an application at any time, it is the general policy of the Governor’s Office to require at least 5 years to pass from the date that a person is discharged from sentence before granting restoration of firearm rights and at least 10 years to pass from the discharge date for a pardon.

An expungement is the “erasing” of the record of a particular criminal offense. The record is expunged, or erased from public access.

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Kansas

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon removes disabilities and restores all rights imposed under state law. You can apply for a pardon at any time after the completion of your sentence. Before you apply for a pardon, you must apply for an expungement.

An expungement treats your record as not having been convicted. The expungement will erase the conviction off the criminal record. You can apply for an expungement five years after you serve your sentence. Some misdemeanors can be cleared after three years. Most minor offenses and some non-violent felonies are eligible for expungement. Serious felonies and many misdemeanors cannot be expunged (e.g., sex crimes, child abuse, murder, perjury).

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» Kentucky

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. For restoration of rights, expiration of your sentence or discharge, with no pending charges, is required. For a pardon, the Governor requires 7 years to pass after the completion of your sentence.

A pardon will relieve all legal disabilities and rights, including firearm rights.

An expungement of a record shall mean that a person can deny the convictions and existence of a record.

Definition. "Expungement" means that:
(1) The affected records shall be sealed;

(2) The proceedings to which they refer shall be deemed not to have occurred; and

(3) The affected party may properly represent that no record exists regarding the matter expunged.

Expungements are for misdemeanors only. A petition for expungement can be filed no sooner than 5 years after completion of a sentence or 5 years after successful completion of probation, whichever is later.
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» Louisiana

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.  A pardon will restore the convicted person to “status of innocence”.  All civil rights are restored, including firearms. You can apply for a pardon upon completion of your sentence.

An expungement means the removal of a record from public access.  An expungement shall order all agencies and law enforcement offices having record of the arrest, whether on microfilm, computer card or tape, or on any photographic, electronic, or mechanical method of storing data, to destroy any record of arrest, photograph, fingerprint, or any other information of any and all kinds or descriptions. Expungements are for non-convictions only.
Pursuant to La. R.S. 15:572, the governor may grant reprieves to persons convicted of offenses against the state and, upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons, may commute sentences, pardon those convicted of offenses against the state, and remit fines and forfeitures imposed for such offenses.  However, the governor must not grant any pardon to any person unless that person has paid all of the court costs which were imposed in connection with the conviction of the crime for which the pardon is to be issued.
La. R.S. 15:572 provides that a first offender never previously convicted of a felony must be pardoned automatically upon completion of his or her sentence without a recommendation of the Board of Pardons and without action by the governor.

La. R.S. 15:572 provides that on the day that an individual completes his or her sentence the Division of Probation and Parole of the Department of Corrections, after satisfying itself that (1) the individual is a first offender  and (2) the individual has completed his or her sentence must issue a certificate recognizing and proclaiming that the petitioner is fully pardoned for the offense, and that s/he has all rights of citizenship and franchise, and must transmit a copy of the certificate to the individual and to the clerk of court in and for the parish where the conviction occurred.
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Maine

A pardon represents evidence of rehabilitation.
After 10 years a pardoned person can apply to the State Bureau of Identification to have all references to the pardoned crime deleted from the FBI’s identification record.
A pardon represents evidence of rehabilitation.
After 10 years a pardoned person can apply to the State Bureau of Identification to have all references to the pardoned crime deleted from the FBI’s identification record.

Right to vote and other civil rights are not lost even upon incarceration.

A firearm permit may be obtained five years after final discharge from sentence.

Lifts automatic barriers, evidences rehabilitation. Because
Maine has no expungement law, criminal record is not "wiped clean"; instead, information concerning the pardoned conviction is considered "non-conviction" data and is available under the conditions or circumstances set forth in Pardoned person may, ten years after final discharge, apply to State Bureau of Identification to have all references to the pardoned crime deleted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's identification record.
Criteria for determining whether a pardon hearing will be granted:

  1. Petitioners seeking a pardon will not be heard until 5 years have elapsed from the date of completion of entire sentence, including any probation periods associated with the sentence.
  2. Petitioners seeking a pardon for Operating under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor (OUI) will not be heard.
  3. Petitioners seeking a pardon will not be heard if the Petitioner is seeking to rectify alleged errors in the judicial system.
  4. Petitioners seeking a pardon for the sole purpose of carrying a firearm to hunt, or otherwise, will not be heard.
  5. Petitioners seeking a pardon for the sole purpose of having the Petitioner’s name removed from the state’s Sex Offender Registry will not be heard.
  6. Petitioners seeking a pardon for one criminal conviction when the Petitioner has one or more additional serious criminal convictions that are not included in the Petitioner’s application for a pardon will not be heard.
  7. Petitioners seeking a pardon for the purpose of entry into Canada will not be heard. However, individuals with criminal convictions who are seeking entrance into Canada should contact the Consulate General of Canada for further information on reinstating this privilege.
A person who has been pardoned may apply for an expungement.

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Maryland

"Pardon" means an act of clemency in which the Governor, by order, absolves the grantee from the guilt of the grantee's criminal acts and exempts the grantee from any penalties imposed by law for those criminal acts.

All disabilities and penalties imposed by the conviction will be lifted. Voting, holding public office, jury and firearms privileges are restored.
The guidelines regarding who may apply for a pardon are as follows:

  • No petition for pardon shall be considered while the petitioner is incarcerated.
  • Misdemeanants must have been crime-free from the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation whichever last occurred, for a period of 5 years.
  • Except as provided in the next paragraph, felons must have been crime-free from the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation, whichever last occurred for 10 years except, however, the Parole Commission may, at its discretion and in specific instances, consider cases in which only 7 years have elapsed.
  • Felons convicted of crimes of violence as defined in Article 27, Section 643B and felons convicted of controlled dangerous substance violations must have been crime-free from the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation, whichever last occurred, for 20 years except, however, the Parole Commission may, at its discretion and in specific instances, consider cases in which only 15 years have elapsed.
Expungement is the removal of police and court records from public inspection. A person need not refer to or give information concerning an expunged charge when answering a question concerning a criminal charge. A person who has received a pardon may apply for expungement.
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»

Massachusetts

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.

Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. The record is hidden from public view and is viewable by law enforcement agencies.

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» Michigan

A pardon in Michigan relieves the punishment and takes away the existence of guilt.  A pardon puts the offender at an innocent status in the eyes of the law as if the person never committed the crime. You can apply for a pardon any time after your sentence is completed.

A pardon will restore the right to serve on a jury.  Firearm privileges may be restored by the concealed weapons licensing board.  The board must find convincing evidence that the person is not likely to be dangerous to the safety of other persons.

Setting aside (expunging) your criminal record means that your prior conviction is set aside. If you have a conviction expunged, you are considered not to have been convicted for most purposes.

After an expungement, you can honestly tell potential employers that you have a clean criminal record.

Your conviction can only be used for very limited purposes, such as increasing your sentence if you are convicted of a new offense. An expunged conviction is not supposed to appear on your rap sheet.

A person may apply to have a conviction set aside for any crime except: 1) a conviction of a felony or an attempted felony punishable by life imprisonment; 2) a violation or attempted violation of criminal sexual conduct under MCL 750.520c, MCL 750.520d, or MCL 750.520g; or 3) a traffic offense. A person who has had more than one conviction for any offense cannot apply. A person may have only one conviction set aside. A person may apply to have a conviction set aside when 5 years have passed since the date he or she was sentenced for the conviction, as long as he or she was not imprisoned. If the person was imprisoned, he or she may apply to have the conviction set aside when 5 years have passed since being released from the term of imprisonment for that conviction.
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» Minnesota

A pardon will restore all legal disabilities and sets aside the conviction.

Minnesota allows all records relating to an arrest, indictment or information, trial, or verdict to be sealed so that they are inaccessible except by a court order.   

Any person, convicted of a crime in any court of this state, who has served the sentence imposed by the court and has been discharged of the sentence either by order of court or by operation of law, may petition the Board of Pardons for the granting of a pardon extraordinary. Unless the Board of Pardons expressly provides otherwise in writing by unanimous vote, the application for a pardon extraordinary may not be filed until the applicable time period in clause (1) or (2) has elapsed:
(1) if the person was convicted of a crime of violence as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 5, ten years must have elapsed since the sentence was discharged and during that time the person must not have been convicted of any other crime; and
(2) if the person was convicted of any crime not included within the definition of crime of violence under section 624.712, subdivision 5, five years must have elapsed since the sentence was discharged and during that time the person must not have been convicted of any other crime.

If your case is “expunged,” then a landlord, employer, or any other private citizen searching public records won’t be able to access it.

Serious crimes like murder, aggravated assault, driving while intoxicated, and sex offender crimes are never expunged. Convictions of minor crimes may be expunged only if you can show that you have made real changes in your life and that it is very unlikely that you will commit another crime.

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» Mississippi

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.  A pardon will restore all civil rights, including firearm rights.  A pardon will also remove all employment disabilities and voting rights.  Sex offenders are also relieved from the obligation to register as a sex offender. A pardon can be applied for 7 years after the completion of a sentence.

An expungement means the removal of a record from public access.  The conviction will zbe eliminated from the record. Expungement is reserved for non-convictions, and first-offence misdemeanors.

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» Missouri

In order to apply for clemency, a person must meet the following minimum requirements:
(1) The applicant is required to have been fully discharged for 3 years from incarceration and/or probation or parole supervision.
(2) The applicant must not have received a conviction within the 3-year period immediately prior to the application for Executive Clemency. (Convictions for minor traffic offences will not be considered). The applicant cannot have any charges pending at the time of the application.
(3) The applicant cannot have been denied an Executive Clemency within the past 3 years.
(4) Probation judgments in which imposition of sentence was suspended are not eligible for Executive Clemency except in cases where a punitive collateral consequence exists.

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon will abolish all effects of the conviction, relieve all obligations associated with the conviction as well as restoring all civil rights (includes firearms) and legal disqualification. A person convicted of any “dangerous felony,” an attempt to commit a dangerous felony, or of a crime under the laws of any state or of the United States which, if committed in Missouri, would be a dangerous felony, may not possess a concealable firearm for five years after conviction or release from confinement for such a conviction, whichever is later.

Sealing or expunging a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. Expungements are available in a very limited number of cases, such as for a first-offence DUI, ten years after sentence completion, and for sealing non-convictions. 
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»

Montana

A pardon is a declaration for an individual to be relieved from all legal consequences of a prior conviction.  A pardon is grounds for judicial expungement.  A pardon will restore all civil rights and full citizenship.  Loss of firearm privileges can be restored using a specific application, which we will provide. You can apply for a pardon any time after you have completed your sentence.

An expungement means the removal of a record from public access. 
Records cannot be accessed by the Public without an order from the District Court along with proof of good cause. In Montana, expungements are available principally for innocence- or non-conviction-related cases.

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»

Nebraska

A pardon is an exemption from all penalties incurred as a consequence of a crime.

A pardon will restore civil rights that are lost from a felony conviction, including the right to be a juror, the right to hold public office, the right to possess firearms, and the right to hold certain licenses (liquor license, public health and welfare licenses).

It is the usual practice in the granting of pardons to hear only those misdemeanor cases where 3 years have elapsed and those felony cases where 10 years have elapsed upon completion of sentencing, including any probation, supervised release, or parole term, with no further law enforcement contracts. Only unusual circumstances will cause the Board to deviate from this practice.

Expungements are for non-convictions only.
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» Nevada

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.

The pardon will remove all disabilities, including licensing barriers.  Firearm privileges may be restored with a pardon unless specified otherwise within the pardon document.

Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view.  When the court seals a record, the record is considered to be non-existent, with exceptions related to law enforcement and consecutive offenses. The offender may rightfully answer prospective employers that they do not have a criminal conviction when asked.

You can apply for a pardon at any time after completing your sentence; however, you are advised to wait as long as possible.
Nevada Revised Statutes 179.245, 176A.265, 179.259, and 453.3365 state that a person may petition the Court for the sealing of all records relating to a conviction of:   
A category A or B felony after 15 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
A category C or D felony after 12 years from the date of his release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
A category E felony after 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
Any gross misdemeanor after 7 years from the date of his release from actual custody or discharge from probation, whichever occurs later;

Any other misdemeanor after 2 years from the date of his release from actual custody or from the date when he is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.
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» New Hampshire

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.  It is an act of grace that completely eliminates all consequences of a conviction. 

A record of arrest, conviction and sentence can be annulled by the sentencing court.  Upon entry of an order of annulment, the person shall be treated in all respects as if he/she had never been arrested, convicted, or sentenced.

There is no waiting period for a pardon. You can apply after your sentence is completed.
If convictions are dismissed or reversed, records are expunged. In the case of arrests for loitering or prowling and DNA records of persons whose convictions are dismissed or reversed, recorded are expunged as a matter of law. No petition is required. RSA 644:6, 651-C:5.

For records sought to be annulled, a petition for annulment may be brought at any time after all sentencing requirements are completed if no conviction resulted. In the case of persons who were convicted, the required time must pass before a petition may be filed with the court having jurisdiction over the records.
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» New Jersey

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon will restore all civil rights and relief from all legal disabilities imposed as a result of a conviction. There is no waiting period. You can apply for a pardon after your sentence is completed. 
Expungement in the State of New Jersey: An expungement is the process that removes a criminal record from general view. Once a record is expunged, the individual is legally permitted to state that there is no record. Expungement waiting periods in the State of New Jersey are as follows:


• 2 years for Municipal Offenses.
• 5 years for Misdemeanor (Disorderly Persons/Petty Offenses).
• 10 years for Felony Offenses.

Expungements are available to first offenders and those with a non-conviction. For felonies, you must first be pardoned and wait for 10 years after completing your sentence.
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» New Mexico

Applicants seeking restoration of the right to bear arms must specifically request this when applying for a pardon; otherwise, it will not be considered. Applicants must then wait an additional year to apply for the right to bear arms. Section 30-7-16 NMSA 1978 provides that it is unlawful for a person convicted of a felony to receive, transport or possess any destructive device or firearm for ten years after conviction.

A pardon restores the rights of citizenship a convicted felon enjoyed prior to conviction, excluding the right to bear arms unless otherwise stated. However, the pardon only removes the disabilities imposed by the State of New Mexico, such as the right to vote and hold public office; this pardon does not remove disabilities imposed by federal statute, and although a pardon restores citizenship rights, it does not allow for the police, prosecutor’s, or court records to be expunged. You can apply for a pardon 10 years after completing your sentence.
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» New York

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.
Expungement in the State of New York: Adult felony and misdemeanor convictions cannot be expunged, except where a pardon has been given for innocence.

In all the above cases of persons eligible for expungement, the expungement is to be made as a matter of law. In the case of youths seeking to have records expunged under the inherent authority of the court, a motion to expunge must be made.
Certificates in the State of New York: A certificate is available to people with no more than one felony conviction and many misdemeanor convictions. The certificate will relieve and remove disabilities and disqualifications that are imposed as a result of the conviction. It will restore firearm rights through specific indication. A certificate makes it illegal for an employer to consider an applicant’s criminal background in the hiring process. If applicant is turned down for the job then employer must write a letter stating why applicant was not hired.

Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD): CRD is available to people with no more than one felony conviction and any number of misdemeanor convictions. A CRD is also available to people with federal convictions who reside in New York at sentencing, or at any time thereafter. If issued prior to expiration of supervision, it is deemed temporary, and may be revoked.
Certificate of Good Conduct (CDC): CDC is available to people with a multitude of felony convictions. The minimum period of good conduct, which is based upon the most serious crime of which the individual has been convicted of, is as follows:

  • Misdemeanor - one year
  • C, D, E Felony - three years
  • A, B Felony - five years

 

This minimum period is measured either from the date of payment of any fine, the suspension of a sentence, or from the date of his/her unrevoked release from custody by parole, commutation or termination of his/her sentence.

Sealing criminal records in the State of New York: Sealing is available for favorable dispositions such as acquittals, dismissals, decline prosecution and a variety of non-criminal infractions (except DWI and prostitution).
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» North Carolina

Pardon may be granted to those individuals who have maintained a good reputation in their community, following the completion of their sentence for a criminal offense.

Ordinarily, an applicant must wait to apply until at least five years have elapsed since the applicant was released from State supervision (including probation or parole). A Pardon is merely an official statement attached to the criminal record that states that the State of North Carolina has pardoned the crime. A Pardon does not expunge or erase a criminal record. Under the North Carolina Constitution, the Executive Branch does not have the authority to expunge a criminal record. The Judicial Branch handles the process of expungement that clears an individual's criminal record pursuant to N.C.G.S. §§ 15A-145, 146 and 149. An individual would need to contact an attorney of their choice to pursue expungement of a criminal record through the Judicial System.

There are three types of Pardons:

Pardon of Forgiveness – Pardon most frequently requested. The Pardon basically states that the individual has been pardoned and forgiven of their criminal conviction. This Pardon is granted with certain conditions.

Pardon of Innocence – Pardon granted when an individual has been convicted and the criminal charges are subsequently dismissed. Application for this type of Pardon allows an individual to petition the Governor for a declaration of innocence when the individual has been erroneously convicted and imprisoned and later determined to be innocent. In such cases where this Pardon is granted, an individual is allowed to seek compensation from the State.

Unconditional Pardon – Pardon granted primarily to restore an individual’s right to own or possess a firearm. This Pardon is granted without any conditions or restrictions.

Pardon eligibility: 5-year waiting period from release from supervision, which may be reduced if specific need is shown.
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» North Dakota

The constitution vests the pardon power (except in cases of treason or impeachment) in the Governor. N.D. Const. art 5, § 7. Governor may (but is not required to) appoint a Pardon Advisory Board, consisting of state Attorney General, two members of the Parole Board, and two citizens. N.D. Cent. Code § 12-55.1-02.

Eligibility: under Board rules, applicant “must have encountered a significant problem with the consequences of his or her conviction or sentence (e.g. difficulty entering a professional school or securing employment)” or demonstrate some other “compelling need for relief as a result of unusual circumstances.”

Expungement is available mainly for first-offence marijuana misdemeanor convictions.
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»

Ohio

There is no waiting period but you are advised to wait a period of time to prove that you can live a crime-free life. A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. The pardon restores all civil rights including firearms. The pardon also purges (erases) the conviction.

Expungement in the State of Ohio: Misdemeanor first time offenders may be expunged one (1) year after completion of sentence (multiple charges may be combined depending upon time span).

Felony first time offenders may be granted three (3) years after completion of sentence (multiple charges may be combined depending upon time span.)

Sealing criminal records in the State of Ohio: Sealing a criminal record means to remove the specific record from public view. Once a record is sealed, private and public employers, including occupational licensing authorities, are not allowed to inquire about the sealed cases, unless there is critical relationship to the job position (i.e. law enforcement.)

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»

Oklahoma

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon serves as recognition that the offender have adjusted well to society since completion of sentence.  A pardon will restore all legal rights lost from conviction.  Firearm rights are restored separately and must be specified in the application. To be eligible for a pardon, a person must have completed their sentence including any parole or probation time or have been released from the incarceration portion of their sentence for at least 5 years.

An expungement means the removal of a record from public access. If the record is expunged or sealed, it is as if the conviction never took place and you will not have to disclose your conviction to employers, state, and local government agencies, or educational institutions. With the representation of a lawyer, a person may apply for expungement the court where convicted if the offense was a misdemeanor, the person has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the judgment was entered, or if the offense was a nonviolent felony, as defined in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for the offense, the person has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the conviction.

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» Oregon

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon will restore all legal rights lost from conviction. You must apply for an expungement first and 3 years must have passed from the date of conviction (misdemeanor or class C felony 1 year after completion).
Expungement is the process by which a criminal conviction and/or arrest is destroyed and erased from court records. Once a criminal record is expunged, the conviction is considered to have never occurred. You do not have to advise employers about your past conviction.
Generally, according to Oregon law you are eligible for an expungement of your criminal conviction and/or arrest record:

  • Any time after three years from the date of the conviction, as long as you have complied with and fully performed the sentence of the court. Your conviction must have been a violation, misdemeanor, or Class C felony, or a crime punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor;
  • Any time after one year from the date of any arrest, if no complaint was filed; or
  • Any time after an acquittal or a dismissal of the charge.

You are not eligible for an expungement if:

  • Your conviction is for a sex crime or child abuse crime;
  • You have been convicted of another crime within the immediately
    preceding 10-year period of applying for an expungement;
  • Your conviction is for a traffic offense; or
  • There is another criminal charge pending against you in
    court.
There are also other restrictions that may apply.
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» Pennsylvania

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.  A pardon will restore all legal rights lost from conviction.  This includes the right to serve on a jury and the right to register firearms.  You can apply for a pardon any time after completing your sentence.


Expungement means that information about an arrest or charge is removed from your record.  The record will be kept aside confidentially. In Pennsylvania, a person must be at least 70 years old and have spent ten years crime-free to receive the expungement of a criminal conviction. There is also recent legislation which permits expungement filings for summary convictions after five years.
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» Rhode Island

"Expungement” is a legal procedure. It allows eligible and deserving individuals to have any and all records relating to their criminal charges removed, both from public records and those of law enforcement agencies. The law provides that any criminal charge, with the exception of a “crime of violence”, is eligible for expungement. The power to pardon (except in cases of impeachment) is vested in the Governor, "by and with the advice and consent of the senate.” R.I. Const. art. 9, § 13. You can apply for a pardon any time after completing your sentence.
Anyone who is a “first offender” is eligible to have their criminal record expunged. The law defines a “first offender” as follows: a person who has not been previously convicted of or placed on probation for a felony or a misdemeanor and against whom there is no criminal proceeding pending in any court. For misdemeanors, the waiting period is 5 years after the successful completion (no intervening convictions, probation, or pending cases) of your sentence and/or probation. For felonies, it’s 10 years after the successful completion (no intervening convictions, probation, or pending cases) of your sentence and/or probation.
The law defines a “crime of violence” as follows: murder, manslaughter, first degree arson, kidnapping with intent to extort, robbery, larceny from the person, first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, first and second degree child molestation, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault, burglary, and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, or larceny.

Anyone convicted of a “crime of violence” is ineligible for “expungement”.
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» South Carolina

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon restores all civil rights, gun rights and right to be licensed for any occupation requiring a license.
After reviewing the pardon application, the Board of Paroles and Pardons shall determine an individual’s eligibility based upon the following criteria:
For probationers - probationers can be considered any time after discharge from supervision, provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full.
For parolees - parolees can be considered:

  • Any time after successfully completing five years under supervision
  • Any time after the discharge date and after successfully completing the maximum parole period, if less than five years
  • Provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full

For persons discharged from a sentence - these individuals can be considered any time after the date of discharge, provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full.
Expungement in the State of South Carolina:


You have never had a charge expunged before, and the charges against you were dismissed, "nol prossed", found "not guilty", or the charges were dismissed by the Solicitor because the defendant successfully completed a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, or you were convicted of a Fraudulent Check Law violation, and no criminal activity has taken place for three years following the date of the conviction, or you were convicted of a first offense simple possession of marijuana, received a conditional discharge, and have successfully complied with the terms of that sentence, or you were convicted of a first offense in a Magistrates' or Municipal Court and no other criminal activity has taken place within three years following the date of conviction.
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» South Dakota

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon will restore all civil rights lost from the conviction including firearm rights. Upon the granting of a pardon, the Governor shall order that all official records relating to the pardoned person’s arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilt, application for a pardon, and the proceedings of the Board of Pardons and Paroles shall be sealed. Sealing a criminal record is a means to remove a specific record from public view.

You must have paid all court costs, fines and restitution before your application will be considered for a Pardon, Exceptional Pardon, Reprieve, or Remission or Forfeiture. If it has been 5 years since your release from a Department of Corrections facility, and you have only  been convicted of one felony, and your only felony was not punishable by life imprisonment, you are eligible for an Exceptional Pardon.
Civil Rights: Civil rights are lost upon a sentence to imprisonment, and regained only when prison sentence is fully discharged, including parole : “A sentence of imprisonment in the state penitentiary for any term suspends the right of the person so sentenced to vote, to hold public office, to become a candidate for public office and to serve on a jury, and forfeits all public offices and all private trusts, authority, or power during the term of such imprisonment” (disqualifying from legislative office those who cannot vote); (convicted felons may not sit on jury unless civil rights restored). Rights are lost even if prison sentence is suspended by court, and are not restored until “the termination of the time of the original sentence or the time extended by order of the court.” Upon issuance of discharge certificate by Secretary of Corrections, a person is considered “restored to the full rights of citizenship.” Discharge certificate not issued until entire prison sentence completed, including any period of parole. Id. People not sentenced to penitentiary do not lose any civil rights. Firearms: Firearms rights not lost unless convicted of a “crime of violence,” in which case rights restored automatically after 15 years without another conviction for a crime of violence or certain drug felonies.

To be eligible for expungement in South Dakota, you must meet at least one of these requirements: if you are deceased, you can have someone petition for you, if you are a person 75 years or older and you committed the crime over 10 years ago, if you committed a crime that is no longer a crime under South Dakota law, or if you committed a misdemeanor offense and your final disposition was at least 10 years prior to the authorized destruction date.
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» Tennessee

A pardon of forgiveness is useful for employment purposes. A pardon will serve as grounds to petition the court for restoration of civil rights. Upon completion of a sentence or after a person has received a pardon they can petition to have their rights restored.

Persons who lost their rights as a result of a conviction can petition to the court to have their full rights of citizenship restored. Executive Clemency is an act of mercy or leniency providing relief from certain consequence of a criminal conviction. The Executive Clemency power includes commutation-a substitution of a lesser sentence for a greater sentence, pardon-a statement of forgiveness, and exoneration-a declaration of innocence that requires written, legal documentation.

The Governor’s office handles all matters concerning reprieves. Only the current Governor has the authority to grant clemency. The Governor of Tennessee can only grant clemency for Tennessee Offenses. The Board of Probation and Parole Executive Clemency Unit is responsible for processing commutation, pardon, and exoneration applications. The pardon application form provides that an applicant must have completed sentence, including any period of community supervision. In addition, the Governor “will give serious consideration” to pardon requests where: 1) applicant has had no conviction for five years since completion of sentence for which he seeks pardon; 2) applicant has “demonstrated good citizenship,” which means “both specific achievements and incident-free behavior;” and 3) petition has demonstrated with proper verification a specific and compelling need for a pardon.

Fir an expungement, you must have a pardon first.
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»

Texas

A person is entitled to apply for a pardon after discharge of sentence. A full pardon restores certain citizenship rights forfeited by law as the result of a criminal conviction, such as the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to serve as Executor or Administrator of an estate. In Texas, voting rights are automatically restored when one discharges a felony sentence. A full pardon will remove barriers to some, but not all, types of employment and professional licensing. However, licenses are granted at the discretion of the state licensing boards of each profession, and it is advisable to contact those boards directly to learn whether a pardon is necessary or sufficient to restore licensing eligibility in a particular field. A pardon will not restore eligibility to become a licensed peace officer in Texas. A person who is convicted and who receives a full pardon is entitled under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B) to an expunction of all arrest records relating to the conviction.

The arrest is not automatically expunged upon a grant of a full pardon. This can only be accomplished by petitioning a court in the county of conviction. In past years, Texas law specified that citizens convicted of a felony offense were ineligible to vote in the State of Texas until two years after full discharge of their sentence. Effective September 1, 1997, the legislature restored voting rights to felons convicted in Texas once a person fully discharges the felony sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completes a period of probation ordered by any court. See Texas Election Code, 11.002.

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»

Utah

If denied an expungement, you can apply for a pardon 5 years after completing your sentence. You are eligible for an expungement of arrest, investigation, or detention record if the following conditions are met: At least 30 days have passed since arrest. There have been no intervening arrests. The proceedings were dismissed. You were acquitted. You were discharged without conviction and no charges were re-filed within 30 days. You were released without formal charges being filed.
You can apply for an expungement of the record of arrest, investigation, and detention by filing a petition. You are eligible for expungement of conviction if the following conditions are met: You have no more than one felony or two class A or B misdemeanor convictions you have been released from incarceration, parole, or probation for the specified amount of time. You have satisfied all fines and restitution ordered as part of the sentence.

To get an expungement, you must seek and receive a certificate of Eligibility for Expungement from the Utah State Bureau of Criminal Identification. Some factors that may result in denial of this certificate are: Time period required by law has not been met. See below. This time period does not begin until all confinement and probation has been completed and fines are paid, and ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending on the offense.
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»

Vermont

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.

An expungement is the process that removes a criminal record from general view.  If the court grants the petition for expungement, all of your court records will be sealed and the matter treated as if a record never existed. 

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»

Virginia

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A restoration of rights will restore the rights to vote, sit on a jury, hold public office and serve as a notary public. A pardon constitutes forgiveness and generally serves as the means of advancement in employment and education. Information about a particular arrest or charge is removed from the version of the rap sheet that will be sent to employers and others. To petition for a simple pardon, you must be free of all conditions set by the court for a period of 5 years; if any felony was involved, you must have applied for and been granted a restoration of rights before applying for the pardon.

If convicted of a felony in Virginia, then a felon must obtain a "removal of political disabilities" from the Governor in order to regain the right to vote. A felon is eligible to apply for the removal of political disabilities if he or she completed the sentence more than 5 years ago and if all court costs and restitution have been satisfied.
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»

Washington

You may apply for a pardon once you have completed your sentence. A Pardon does not automatically expunge the record. Once you do receive a Pardon from the Governor, you are then eligible to have it removed from your criminal history record. The Pardon will restore the rights you lost because of your conviction, such as your right to sit on a jury, and to hold public office. The Pardon may not restore your gun rights. You should ask the Governor’s offices for clarification at the time you receive the pardon whether your gun rights are restored.

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»

West Virginia

You may apply for a pardon once you have completed your sentence. A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. A pardon will restore all civil rights. A pardon serves as grounds for a record expungement.

An expungement is the process that removes a criminal record from general view.  If a conviction is expunged, educational institutions and licensing authorities may not acknowledge the expunged conviction. For those persons found guilty of a criminal offense, expungement cannot occur until 2 years after a pardon has been issued, or until 20 years after the discharge of his or her sentence upon the conviction for which he or she was pardoned. In addition, there are certain crimes for which expungement cannot be granted at any time.

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» Wisconsin

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense.

Pardons are available for felonies only, not misdemeanors, and only after 5 years have passed from the completion of your sentence. These rules may be waived if you can demonstrate that there are extraordinary circumstances that should make you eligible to apply.

A pardon does not expunge criminal record information. A Wisconsin court will only consider ordering an expungement under the following conditions.

  1. The convicted person was under the age of 21 years at the time that the criminal act was committed;
  2. The criminal conviction was for no crime greater than a misdemeanor;
  3. The convicted person completed his or her sentence successfully;
  4. All probation time was served;
  5. All fines were paid;
  6. The convicted person will benefit by the expungement;
  7. The person has not been convicted of another criminal offense (misdemeanor or felony) since the conviction for which expungement is sought; and
Society will not be harmed by the expungement.
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» Wyoming

A pardon relieves an offender from further punishment imposed by reason of a conviction of a criminal offense. Persons seeking a pardon must wait 10 years from the time of completion of sentence before applying. Federal and out-of-state offenders are also eligible. Governor’s policy generally excludes persons convicted of sexual crimes or crimes involving a child as a victim from consideration.

A pardon restores all rights and privileges lost as a result of conviction.  Which include the right to vote, to serve on a jury, to hold public office and the right to possess firearms.

Deferred adjudication for first offenders: A first offender who pleads guilty to a misdemeanor or a non-violent felony may be placed on probation for a period of at least one year and no more than five years; upon successful completion of probation, the court may discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings, and the matter “shall not be a conviction for any purpose.” Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-13- 301.

Expungement: Wyoming, noted in the 1962 NCCD report as the only state that then made expungement available by statute to persons sentenced to a prison term, now affirmatively prohibits its courts from expunging criminal records, except as specifically authorized by law. SeeWyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-13-307. The Wyoming Supreme Court has held that Wyoming courts have no inherent power to expunge the felony record of a person who has not been pardoned for the purpose of restoring civil rights, and that it would be an encroachment on the executive power to pardon. Stanton v. State, 686 P.2d 587 (Wyo. 1984).
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*American Pardon Service does not provide legal advice or probability of success. Should you require legal assistance please consult a lawyer.

 

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Canadian Canada Pardons - Helps you remove your criminal record or entry waivers to the United States.
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