Each presidency establishes its own set of standards and considerations when determining who receives a presidential pardon. The power to pardon is exclusive to the president. In Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the pardon power is limited only in that impeachment is not a pardon-eligible offense. There is no congressional input into the pardon process and no judicial review.
The Department of Justice has historically been designated as the cabinet level department responsible for receiving and reviewing pardon applications. Applications are completed and submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney, whose staff then reviews each application. There is no predetermined time limit in which the Department of Justice must review a pardon application. The Constitution does not require a president to actually act on applications for pardons. Many applications for a presidential pardon lie dormant for years, never officially being denied.
In addition, unlike many state pardon processes, there is no hearing stage for a presidential pardon. The application process is entirely a paper one, which means you have but one chance to make the case you are worthy of being forgiven.
The application itself is extensive and submitted under oath. You must take particular care to ensure every detail of your pardon application, to include your own personal recounting of the crime, be done fully and without omission. An inaccurately completed pardon application could result in the filing of criminal perjury charges against you.
The pardon application also requires you to disclose all your family details as well, to include not only your personal information but also information regarding your children and spouse. You must also list every residence where you have lived since the date of your conviction.
Employment background is vital as well. Starting with the date of your conviction, you must list your employer, reason for leaving that employer, any negative employment history, and any means of support you may have received during any periods of unemployment. As well, your complete criminal history, to include arrests, questioning by law enforcement, and even traffic tickets, must be submitted with your pardon application.
Debts, credit issues and civil litigation are also of interest to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. If you ever served in the military, additional information will be required of you. This is the case even if you were not in the military when the crime for which you are seeking a pardon was committed. Any previous efforts at restoring your civil rights or petitioning a state governor for a pardon must also be noted, and details provided.
Perhaps most important of all, you must state your reason for seeking a pardon. You must state with great specificity the purpose for which you are seeking a presidential pardon and attach any documentary evidence that will assist you in the process (for example, copies of applicable provisions of state statutes and constitutions, regulations, letters from appropriate officials of administrative agencies, licensing and professional authorities, and so on). The federal pardon process is excruciating in its detail and in most cases is more time-consuming than similar state processes.
A presidential pardon is an act of forgiveness. It will not expunge your record, but it makes an allowance for it. Whether you are successful in obtaining a pardon or not, you still must disclose when asked that you have a past conviction. However, you can also note that you have been pardoned; however, the granting of a pardon greatly mitigates the effects of your past conviction(s). Since the pardon application process partially refers to prior acts requesting clemency, it is vital you make a valid effort the first time. Though you can complete the application yourself, it is advisable that you have counsel familiar with the rules and requirements of the pardon process assist you in completing and submitting your application.
Source by Nathan Moore