17 Oct 23

How to Get a Pardon for a Misdemeanor in Florida

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Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm

How to Get a Pardon for a Misdemeanor in Florida

What is a Pardon?

A pardon is an act of forgiveness and mercy from the government. According to Florida Statutes, Section 940.01[1], a pardon can:

  • Release punishment for a crime
  • Restore civil rights lost due to conviction
  • Remove disqualifications or disabilities

Pardons don’t expunge or erase the conviction, but they lessen the penalties and stigma. A pardon document is sent to agencies to update your status.

Types of Pardons in Florida

There are several types of pardons in Florida[2]:

  • Full pardon – Restores all civil rights and gun ownership
  • Pardon without firearm authority
  • Pardon for misdemeanor domestic violence
  • Specific authority to own/use firearms

The best option is a full pardon, which fully restores all your rights. But the type granted depends on your offense and background.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a misdemeanor pardon in Florida, you must[3]:

  • Complete all sentencing requirements
  • Have no other pending criminal cases
  • Owe no fines over $1,000
  • Wait 5 years after completing sentence

You must also be a Florida resident and U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The Application Process

Applying for a misdemeanor pardon in Florida involves[4]:

  1. Obtain and complete the application
  2. Gather supporting documents
  3. Submit application and documents
  4. Commission reviews and investigates
  5. If approved, case goes to governor

The whole process takes 9-12 months. The governor has final say on granting pardons.

Tips for a Strong Application

To boost your chances, make sure your application[5]:

  • Explains your offense and acceptance of responsibility
  • Details positive life changes since conviction
  • Shows how you’ve become a productive, law-abiding citizen
  • Explains why you deserve forgiveness and restoration of rights

Submit letters of recommendation, proof of rehabilitation, and evidence of your good character.

Using an Attorney

Hiring a qualified attorney to assist with your pardon application is highly recommended. They can[6]:

  • Ensure you meet eligibility requirements
  • Obtain and review needed documents
  • Craft the strongest arguments for your case
  • Increase your chances of approval

Don’t leave anything to chance – legal expertise maximizes your odds.

After Receiving a Pardon

Once granted a pardon, obtain documentation and make copies. Notify any agencies, schools, and employers that previously denied you based on the conviction.

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A pardon allows you to truthfully claim no conviction on applications and restores opportunities.

Limitations of a Pardon

While a pardon offers many benefits, some restrictions may remain:

  • Doesn’t seal or expunge criminal record
  • May not restore gun rights depending on offense
  • May not allow certain professional licenses
  • Doesn’t guarantee private employers will accept it

Still, a pardon goes a long way in moving forward after a conviction.

Don’t Lose Hope

The pardon process can feel daunting, but consulting an attorney maximizes your chance of success. A pardon provides the best path to a fresh start after a Florida misdemeanor.

With persistence and rehabilitation, forgiveness may be within reach. I wish you the very best in getting your pardon!