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Can I Get A Pardon For A Past Conviction?

What is a Pardon?

A Pardon basically relieves all of the legal consequences of a crime and conviction. However, it does not remove the conviction from your criminal history nor does it relieve a person from registering as a sex offender if they were required to do so.  A person’s arrest record will reflect that they were granted a pardon for the crime. A Pardon restores all civil rights lost as a result of a criminal conviction.  This includes the right to vote, hold office, possess a fire arm, or be licensed in any occupation pursuant to South Carolina Code Ann. 24-21-990.

Now, there is not a right to know the reason why or why not you were or were not granted a Pardon.

Pursuant to 24-21-960 the application fee is $100.00.

Who is eligible for a Pardon?

South Carolina Code Ann. § 24-21-950 sets forth the guidelines for determining eligibility for pardon: (A) The following guidelines must be utilized by the board when determining when an individual is eligible for pardon consideration. (1) Probationers must be considered upon the request of the individual any time after discharge from supervision. (2) Persons discharged from a sentence without benefit of parole must be considered upon the request of the individual any time after the date of discharge. (3) Parolees must be considered for a pardon upon the request of the individual any time after the successful completion of five years under supervision. Parolees successfully completing the maximum parole period, if less than five years, must be considered for pardon upon the request of the individual any time after the date of discharge. (4) An inmate must be considered for pardon before parole eligibility date only when he can produce evidence comprising the most extraordinary circumstances. (5) The victim of a crime or a member of a convicted person’s family living within this State may petition for a pardon for a person who has completed supervision or has been discharged from a sentence. (B) Persons discharged from a sentence without benefit of supervision must be considered upon the request of the individual any time after the date of discharge.

South Carolina Code Ann. §24-21-970 provides for the application by an applicant where they have a terminal illness where there life expectancy is one year or less.

Who makes the final decision?

The Review Board will review the application.  The Applicant must receive notice of the hearing. However, the Board may reach their decision even if the Applicant does not appear.

Pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §24-21-930 two thirds of the members of the board must agree to the Pardon.