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Nate, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
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whats the difference between a presidential pardon and having

Resolved Question:

what's the difference between a presidential pardon and having you record expunged?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Nate replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

An expungement is a state procedure, governed by each state's law. An expungement serves the same purpose as a pardon as far as erasing one's criminal record. Expungements are essentially non-existent for federal convictions. A presidential pardon is practically the only way to get a federal conviction removed from one's record. Note, however, that the president has no power to grant a pardon for a state conviction. Only the current sitting governor of the state where the conviction occurred can grant clemency for a prior conviction. If you are eligible for an expungement, I would try that first.

I hope this helps. Be sure to click ACCEPT so that I can get credit for this answer. As always, if you have additional questions after clicking ACCEPT, I will be glad to follow up with you.

Nathan Moore
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