A conviction in Alabama’s criminal courts does not need to permanently ruin a person’s life. Alabama’s Board of Pardons and Parole has the authority to restore any civil and political disabilities that result from a conviction.
These pardons do not clean a person’s criminal record, but can restore their ability to vote, own firearms, or run for political office. However, this process is not automatic and far from guaranteed. There is a specific process a person must follow to provide the best chance of success. A Birmingham pardons lawyer can work with individuals who are interested in restoring their civil rights following the conclusion of a criminal case. Contact an established lawyer today.What a Pardon Does
Pardons do not erase a conviction from a person’s criminal record. Instead, they remove the civil penalties attached to a felony conviction under Alabama law. These penalties typically involve the loss of voting rights and the right to own a handgun.
Under Alabama Code of Criminal Procedure §15-32-66, the Board of Pardons and Parole has the mandate to grant pardons and remit fines. Additionally, the pardon must specifically state which rights they are restoring.Eligibility for Pardons
Alabama Criminal Procedure also specifically provides rules that convicted persons must follow for the board to consider their pardon. The convicted person must have fully complied with all terms of their parole after release from prison and remain free from any new accusations. Alternatively, once a person completes their entire sentence, the board may hear their petition.
Under rare circumstances, the petitioner can argue that they were innocent of the charges for which they were convicted. If this is the case, the petition must be assented to by the District Attorney or the judge who presided over the case.
For more information on eligibility, get in touch with a Birmingham pardons attorney.Pardon Process in Birmingham
The process begins with the filing of a request for a pardon with the petitioner’s local probation office. This office then conducts an investigation into the petitioner’s social life, including living situation, employment status, and known acquaintances. This written report is included with the petitioner’s application and sent to the pardon board.
The board will then issue a 30-day notice to the local prosecutor, the judge on the case, the chief of police or local sheriff, and an alleged victim to give them a chance to appear at the hearing. This hearing must be public. After the hearing, the board makes a decision with a simple majority vote.
According to Article 6 of the Alabama Board of Pardon and Parole Rules, any person wishing to state reasons why the pardon also should be granted the ability to speak.Birmingham Attorney Could Help
The effects of a felony conviction can stretch far beyond any prison sentence. Upon release, a person’s right to vote and possess firearms is still revoked. A successful pardon can restore these rights.
A Birmingham pardons attorney could help people by assisting with the filing of the petition, preparing them for the hearing, and coordinating their witness’ statements. If you recently completed a term in jail or completed three years of a parole term without incident, contact a lawyer today to see how they can help get your life going back in the right direction.