NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
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, 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:
- 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.
To be eligible for a misdemeanor pardon in Florida, you must:
- 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:
- Obtain and complete the application
- Gather supporting documents
- Submit application and documents
- Commission reviews and investigates
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
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!