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Is an expungement like a pardon?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If you have been convicted of a crime, there may be two options available to you to address it so you can move forward with your life. A pardon is an official forgiveness granted by the governor and an expungement of your criminal record means that it is removed from public access.


Before you file an application for a pardon, you must ensure you are eligible. Usually, this means that you have completed your sentence including any probation or parole requirements. Then, you can file the application with detailed information about your criminal history and background. You may be required to attach supporting documentation, such as employment details and references.

The Board of Pardons will review your case and may schedule a hearing where you can present your case. Then, the Board will make a recommendation to the governor. If the governor grants your request, you will receive a certificate and you may have certain rights restored, like serving on a jury.


If you get an expungement, your criminal record will no longer be accessible to the public. It’s important to understand that not all crimes are eligible for expungement.

To request expungement, you will need to file a petition with the court with information about the charges. The court may hold a hearing where you can present your case.

If the court approves the request, it will issue a court order to expunge the records. You may need to send copies of the court order to relevant agencies, such as law enforcement.