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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33926
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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My father was convicted of a felony many years ago. I believe

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My father was convicted of a felony many years ago. I believe he should have his rights should be restored and him pardoned or his record expunged. He is a happy old man who has had no offenses since his conviction. He was convicted and sentenced to jail for conspiracy to distribute drugs. The federal government FORCED him to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit because otherwise his sentence would have been heavier and they would have rather keep court costs low then have the truth. My father was sent to jail off of the word of two already convicted felons without any actual evidence. The law states at least one person in the conspiracy must have actually done the said crime it doesn't matter who. The thing is there was no such proof that anyone accused or convicted had done anything wrong. My father is now a broken down old man who wants his rights back after all these years. Is there an actual way to do this? He has no offenses since his incarceration. Plus his case had no solid grounds. He literally lost because it was the federal government which is apparent above their own laws.... Is their any legal cases to be made. Anything that can be done? He's just an old man who wants to hunt and vote again.

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

Was it a federal conviction?

Customer: It was indeed! An unfair one.
JD 1992 :

Unfortunately, there are no federal expungements comparable to the state ones. With a federal felony conviction he would first have to get a presidential pardon and then if the pardon was granted he could get the record expunged.

JD 1992 :

The US Department of Justice and the Office of the Pardon Attorney are the ones who actually handle the pardon application and process. You can find the website for the Pardon Attorney here: "The Office of the Pardon Attorney, in consultation with the Attorney General or his designee, assists the President in the exercise of executive clemency as authorized under Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, the President's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for investigation and review. The Pardon Attorney prepares the Department's recommendation to the President for final disposition of each application. Executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve." The requirements for filing for a pardon are: "§ 1.2 Eligibility for filing petition for pardon. No petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement or, in case no prison sentence was imposed, until the expiration of a period of at least five years after the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally, no petition should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised release."


Customer: Well my state offers civil right back and sometimes gun rights back to felons of nonviolent crimes. Do you think he could apply and get them back or is their really no beating the federal government even with zero evidence.
JD 1992 :

There is a difference between the state and the federal. The state government can't override the federal one so the state laws don't matter in this particular case. In addition, even if the state did give him his gun rights back, the federal law still states he cannot have one. That is so regardless of the state and what they say. The ONLY way for him to be able to get his gun rights back is to get a presidential pardon.

JD 1992 :

Many states will allow someone to have guns after a felony conviction but even so the person is still violating federal law.

JD 1992 :

Unless they get a state or federal pardon. In your father's case, since it was a federal crime it has to be a federal (Presidential) pardon.

Customer: The chances of that are astronomical though are they not?
JD 1992 :

The chances are better under this President than the last. You may want to look on the internet and speak to a pardons attorney and get a price.

JD 1992 :

Since the President can't be re-elected this is a good time to apply for a pardon. Typically more are granted in a second term than in a first.

JD 1992 :

Did you have additional questions?

Customer: Thank you I will. Though I do understand your question dodging does leave it rather bleak. I suppose he can just apply for rights restoration within the state. He is a good and innocent man. Unless the federal government took another unwarranted interest in him again he would be fine. He just wants to hunt and enjoy life. Just out of curiosity do you personally find it fair the federal government can put people away without evidence?
JD 1992 :

There is no question dodging. There simply is not a specific answer other than what I have given you.

JD 1992 :

No, I think the criminal justice system is broken.

Customer: Thank you sir. I appreciate your time and advise. I also respect your opinion as a professional. Haha even lawyer know the systems broken. Thanks again sir and God bless.
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