What Is a Pardon in a Criminal Case? 

 May 14, 2015

By  LMW Attorneys

After being charged with a crime, an individual may be forgiven of their charges through a pardon. A pardon is an official forgiveness of a crime and the penalties associated with it. While the process of applying for a pardon can be a long, and sometimes frustrating journey, it is meant as a way to set free those who have truly atoned for their crimes.

How a Pardon Works

A pardon is generally not a declaration of innocence. The individual receiving the pardon has assumed guilt of their crime. The pardon is given when the guilty party has shown great remorse and is rehabilitated.

Pardons are meant to symbolize forgiveness for the crime, however they do not expunge the individual’s criminal record. This means that even if you were granted a pardon, you would still have to disclose your conviction to any potential employers.

While pardons do not indicate innocence, they can restore civil rights. Pardons can give people back their right to vote, their right to hold public office, the right to serve on a jury and the right to own firearms.

Types of Pardons

There are various types of pardons that may be granted. The most common types of pardons include:

Full Pardons: This is when a person is unconditionally absolved of their crime’s consequences.

Partial Pardon: This pardon only relieves some of their crime’s consequences, such as reducing their sentence.

Absolute Pardons: These pardons are granted without any conditions.

Conditional: There are conditions that must be met in order to receive the pardon. This could be giving helpful information to the police, or wiring a formal apology for their crimes.

Pardons In Florida

Each state regulates which government official or entity may grant a pardon. In Florida, this power lies with the current governor. This is called executive clemency. The governor holds the exclusive rights to grant full pardons, conditional pardons or commute punishment.

Receiving a pardon in Florida is a complex and lengthy process. You need a team of dedicated attorneys to help you make your case and fight for your rights. If you believe that you are a good candidate for executive clemency, then contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins Attorneys at Law. We can help you explore all your legal options, even after you have already been convicted. Call today or schedule an appointment online.