Expungements and Pardons

Mar 03, 2024By Johnn Osborn
Johnn Osborn

Expungements and pardons are legal processes that can have a significant impact on an individual's criminal record. Whether you're looking to clear your record for employment opportunities, housing applications, or personal peace of mind, understanding the differences between expungements and pardons is crucial.


An expungement is a legal process that allows for the removal of a criminal record from public view. This means that once an expungement is granted, the individual can legally state that they have not been convicted of a crime. However, the specifics of expungement laws vary by state, so it's important to consult with a legal professional to understand the eligibility and process in your jurisdiction.

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A pardon, on the other hand, does not remove the conviction from an individual's record. Instead, it is a form of forgiveness granted by the government that restores certain rights, such as the right to vote or hold public office. Pardons are typically granted by the governor or president and are often based on a demonstration of rehabilitation or exceptional conduct.


Eligibility for expungements and pardons can vary widely depending on the nature of the offense, the individual's criminal history, and the laws of the jurisdiction. In general, non-violent offenses and first-time offenders may have a higher likelihood of being eligible for expungement or pardon.

The Process

The process for seeking an expungement or pardon can be complex and time-consuming. It often involves filing a petition with the court, providing evidence of rehabilitation, and attending a hearing. Working with an experienced attorney who specializes in expungement and pardon law can greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome.

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Both expungements and pardons offer individuals the opportunity to move forward with their lives free from the stigma of a criminal record. This can open up new employment opportunities, housing options, and overall peace of mind. Additionally, it can restore certain civil rights that may have been lost due to a criminal conviction.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Understanding the differences between expungements and pardons is essential for anyone seeking to clear their criminal record. Whether you're looking to expunge a past mistake or seeking forgiveness through a pardon, consulting with a legal professional is the first step towards a fresh start. Contact me here or call 505.585.1235 to speak with attorney Johnn Osborn.

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