A conviction for crimes in Nevada is no joke. Even the least serious charges can have fairly high penalties. All that is not going into the long-term effects a recorded conviction can have on your entire life.
This is just one reason why Las Vegas defense attorneys immediately seek for different forms of post-conviction relief after their clients are sentenced. There are a handful of options for sentenced individuals to avoid the worst effects of a conviction. For those with really severe convictions, getting a pardon is ideally the best choice.
What’s a Pardon?
Nevada’s revised statutes define a pardon as a state-issued forgiveness for a person’s crimes. It gives a convicted person most or all of the rights they lose after their conviction, depending on the severity of their crime and the level of the pardon granted. The authority to grant pardons falls to duly-authorized senior government officials. For example, the President has authority to grant full pardons to federal offenders. In the case of Nevada, the duty falls to the Pardon Board, a committee that includes the Governor, the Attorney-General, and the Justices of the state’s Supreme Court.
Note that a pardon does not equate to the sealing of a defendant’s criminal records. Even with a pardon, your legal record will still list the conviction you were pardoned for. If you wish to clean that record, you will have to go through a separate legal procedure to make it work.
How it Benefits a Defendant
The long-term effects of a conviction can be felt even after a defendant has done their time. Former convicts usually have trouble finding a new source of employment, regaining driving licenses, or even availing certain services. If the convicted is also an immigrant, they are at risk of being deported without the chance to appeal or return.
Pardons automatically clear away all these consequences for a defendant. Once granted, the defendant regains most of the rights taken away by their conviction, like the right to work and the right to vote. Getting pardoned also returns the ability to apply for certain licenses. However, certain employers and establishments may still consider other factors apart from a pardon when hiring employees or providing certain services.
The Pardon Application Process
Generally, the defense lawyer will advise their client on how to receive a legal pardon. As a general overview, the process usually follows this flow:
- The client determines if they are eligible to receive a pardon
- The client fills up an application form
- The form is notarized, along with the waiver and release forms
- The documents are submitted
- Appear for a pardon (if needed) and either have pardon request denied or approved
Certain circumstances can affect how the pardon process goes. Things may change depending on the nature and severity of a person’s crime.
Pardons provide a major turnaround for people dealing with serious criminal convictions. However, it is not a silver bullet that solves all of their problems, but is only the first step to reintegrating with society. Consult a veteran Las Vegas lawyer about what else to do in post-conviction.