According to the Arkansas Constitution, the governor has the power to pardon all crimes except treason (unless the Senate agrees) and impeachment.

 Will getting a pardon from the governor restore my gun rights?

There are three types of pardons.

  1. The one that only restores your firearm rights.
  2. The one that doesn’t restore your firearm rights.
  3. The one that restores all your rights, firearm rights included.

If you want the one that only restores your gun rights, you will have to get the sheriff of the county that you live in to sign off on your restoration of firearm rights. Oddly, the Sheriff’s signature isn’t technically required for the full pardon.

How does this effect my immigration status?

A pardon is the ONLY way to fully remove the stigma of a conviction for a felony offense. You MIGHT have an argument that the juvenile expungement act has the same effect under immigration law. Misdemeanors that are expunged may remove immigration consequences depending on the misdemeanor.

Does getting a pardon seal or expunge my record?

The statute provides for the sealing of records of person pardoned by Governor for certain offenses. You have to file a copy of the pardon with the court where you were originally convicted though.

If you were under sixteen (16) years of age when you were convicted of the crime:

If you were given a suspended sentence, received a pardon for the conviction, and have not been convicted of another criminal offense since. Then you can expunge ANY type of criminal conviction.

If you were over sixteen years of age when you were convicted of the crime:

When you were over 16 years old at the time of your conviction, the expungement aspect of this statute is not applicable if the victim was under eighteen (18) years of age, any sex offenses, or an offense resulting in death or serious physical injury to a person.

What are the chances of getting a governor’s pardon?

According to one study, the governor of Arkansas only grants about 25% of pardon requests. However, there is no telling how many people qualified to even apply for a pardon. A pardon is different from a commutation, which is where the governor agrees to prematurely end your sentence. Many people applying for a pardon may not even qualify, therefore making it look much less likely to get a pardon.

How long does it take to get a governor’s pardon?

At least a year, usually two. First your pardon request has to go before the parole board who recommends to the governor whether or not you should get a pardon.

How much does it cost to apply for a pardon?

It is free, except for the attorney’s fees and how much time you have to put into the application.

How do I apply for a governor’s pardon in Arkansas?

You can find the application here.

I’ve also uploaded the application here in case that link goes dead:

Arkansas Governors Pardon Application

If you need help filling out the application, contact one of our attorneys.

What If I Don’t Have Time to Wait for a Governor’s Pardon?

Read one of our other blogs on expunging criminal charges under a different statute. Or call one of our Fayetteville, Fort Smith, or Van Buren Arkansas Criminal Defense Attorneys at (479) 782-1125 for a free consultation.

I’ve written blogs on the two most common statutes used to expunge misdemeanors and felonies in Arkansas are:

The Arkansas Felony Comprehensive Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2013.

The Arkansas Misdemeanor Comprehensive Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2013.

The rest of the Arkansas expungement statutes are much rarer:

The First Offender Act (Act 346) of 1975 ACA 16-93-301.

Arkansas “Clean Slate” Provision of 1975 and 2011. (ACA 5-4-311, repealed and recodified under 16-93-314).

The Arkansas Youthful Offender Alternative Service Act.

The Arkansas Uniform Expungement Act of 1995 (repealed, don’t read this one).

The Arkansas Controlled Substances Act Discharge and Dismissal Statute (ACA 5-64-413) (Act 1994 of 2005).

Arkansas Drug Court Expungements

Arkansas Juvenile Expungements (ACA 9-27-309).

Arkansas Governor’s Pardons