Pardons - Presidential
Harrisburg Criminal Defense Lawyers – (717) 775-7195
The President of the United States holds the power to pardon American citizens for federal crimes. This pardoning power does not include state-level offenses and civil disputes. Throughout the years, the United States Supreme Court has reviewed the President’s pardoning power for effectiveness and fairness as it has come up in specific cases.
With a Presidential pardon, the pardoned party can receive:
- Full pardon of federal crimes
- Pardons based on certain conditions
- Full or conditional commutation of sentence
- Remission of any fines or property forfeiture
Since each federal pardon petition goes straight to the President for approval or denial, the applications must be created with the utmost levels of professionalism and specificity. Any sort of deviation from accepted formats could lead to the rejection of the pardon petition, as could filing for a pardon without first confirming the petitioner is eligible. You can remove the guesswork from a federal pardon petition by retaining the services of Scaringi Law and our Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys.
Contact our firm to learn if you are eligible for a Presidential pardon.
The Presidential Pardon Process
In most cases, a presidential pardon will not be granted unless five full years have elapsed since the petitioner finished all sentencing requirements for the federal crime. This is not an absolute requirement. The President has extensive power to grant a pardon whenever it is deemed fitting, even if the person requesting the pardon has only been targeted by a federal investigation and not yet charged for a federal crime.
The US Office of Pardon Attorney will conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of each pardon application. Some of the issues it will consider when evaluating pardons include:
- Has the petitioner accepted responsibility for his or her crimes?
- Has the petitioner shown character improvement after the conviction?
- How severe were the federal charges or alleged offenses?
- Why does the petitioner require or request a pardon?
- Does the petitioner need to be further rehabilitated for apparent misdeeds?
The Office of Pardon, which acts through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will be tasked with studying the petitioner’s case, looking into the petitioner’s personal and criminal background, and otherwise evaluating the pardon petition. It is not unusual for the Office of Pardon to reach out to the judge that sentenced and the attorney that prosecuted the petitioner for additional insight into the situation. When you work with Scaringi Law, we can communicate with the parties evaluating your petition to ensure you are being judged fairly and your petition is held under an unbiased light.
What a Presidential Pardon Does
When the President accepts a pardon request, all civil disabilities related to the conviction that were placed upon the petitioner will be lifted, unless otherwise noted by the President. Civil rights, including the rights to bear arms, vote, sit on a jury, and hold a state or local office, will also be restored due to the pardon. In some cases, a pardon can erase any legal basis for an ongoing deportation case against the petitioner. When all is said and done, a Presidential pardon will be a powerful tool for restoring the reputation for the petitioner, which may make it significantly easier to find gainful employment, educational opportunities, licensing, and so forth.
It should be noted that a Presidential pardon is considered to be a matter of public record and that the pardon does not expunge or remove the federal criminal conviction from your record. Basic information regarding both your pardon and the related federal crime convictions will be added to the Office of Pardon Attorney website for the world to see. Specific details will likely be omitted.
Contact Scaringi Law to Request a Presidential Pardon
Our Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in all manners of criminal defense work, including the more complicated aspects like Presidential pardon petitions. If you have been convicted of a federal crime and want to know if a Presidential pardon could work for you, we would be happy to discuss your options during an initial consultation. Just call (717) 775-7195 or send our office an email to begin.