Pardons in Arkansas have operated virtually the same way since May of 2015. Known formally as an Executive Clemency Application in Arkansas, a request for a pardon can be an extremely lengthy and time-consuming process. The wait to get an approval or denial for a pardon can be as long as two years. Recently, I have been seeing decisions come down in as little as 330 days.
Page one of the application consists of instructions. The first thing mentioned is that an application for pardon does not guarantee that a pardon will be granted. As someone applying for a pardon, you must understand that no attorney can guarantee that a pardon will be granted. Attorneys generally cannot guarantee specific results in any contested matter, and you should be wary of any attorney making such guarantees.
The first step of the pardon process, once you have submitted your complete application, is a review. This review is conducted by the Parole Board. This can take many months, and so it is very important to keep your address updated with the Parole Board. Otherwise, you could potentially miss vital communication from them. If your application is missing information or records, they will often let us know and we can supplement the pardon with the missing records.
Once the Parole Board reviews your completed application, they will make their recommendation to the Governor. The parole board may take about a year to come to a decision, but I typically see a response in about 5 months. This recommendation will be based on the evidence you provide with your application and will either be a recommendation to grant or deny. While the Governor does not have to follow this recommendation, they usually will. The Governor typically will not grant pardons that have not been recommended by the Parole Board, although it is possible.
Once the Governor issues a decision to either grant or deny the pardon, the decision is final. That means that there is no appeal for a denial. If you have been denied, you will receive no pardon. While you may try again, you will not be able to reapply for a minimum of two years.
If your pardon is granted, then you will be restored to the full rights of an Arkansas citizen. Depending on the kind of pardon you apply for, this may or may not restore your firearm rights. If you are specifically concerned with restoring your firearm rights, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys.
As stated before, the process for a pardon can be long and complicated, and we are happy to serve you. Our experienced attorneys coordinate with agencies all over Arkansas and are glad to help you remotely if distance is an issue. In addition to stellar customer service, we will work with you in order to provide a thorough, complete, well-organized application, giving you the input you need to raise your chances at getting your pardon on the first try.
Call us today to get started: (479) 782-1125.