Pardons in Maryland

If you have been convicted of a crime in Maryland and have not been involved in any criminal activities since your incarceration for that crime, you may be eligible to request a pardon from the Governor of Maryland. Professional preparation of a pardon package will clearly demonstrate to the parole board your progress since the completion of your sentence. That is not to say that everyone will receive a pardon, but the accurate description of your crime, incarceration and rehabilitation efforts may make you a good candidate for this process.

What is a Pardon?

A pardon is an act of the Governor in which he frees someone of guilt for a criminal act and relieves the grantee from any penalties under law for those acts. You may not request a pardon if you are currently in jail. The Governor uses the Maryland Parole Commission's guidelines in determining whether or not to grant a pardon. The following summarizes the guidelines.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you must have been crime-free for at least five (5) years from the time of your sentencing or release from jail, parole, or probation, whichever occurred last.

If you were convicted of a felony:
• that was NOT a crime of violence and did NOT involve controlled dangerous substances, the time period increases to ten (10) years. However, the Parole Commission may consider cases after only seven (7) years.
• that was a crime of violence or involved controlled dangerous substances, you must have remained crime-free for at least twenty (20) years, from the time of your sentencing or release from jail, parole, or probation (whichever occurred last). However, the Parole Commission may consider cases after only fifteen (15) years.

Considerations for Pardons

The following factors are considered regarding your request for a pardon::

• The type of crime committed and the circumstances surrounding its commission;
• The effect a pardon would have on the victim(s) (if any) and the community;
• The type of sentence handed down;
• What other anti-social behavior you have engaged in;
• Your rehabilitation;
• Your age and health; and
• The reason for requesting a pardon.

How do I get Started?

The first thing you need to do is to contact our office and schedule an appointment to discuss your case. Each pardon request is unique, and demands the individual attention of an attorney to determine the best process for requesting your pardon. Your attorney will discuss the particular circumstances of your case with you, and make a recommendation about how to proceed.

How Much Will This Cost?

The best answer to this question is "it depends". Some cases are very straight forward and require a minimal amount of work to request a pardon. In other cases, the process can be very involved and take a considerable amount of effort on the part of your attorney. The only way to determine the actual cost of our services will be to meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your case at length. At that time, you can decide whether to proceed with the pardon request.


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