How to Apply for a Pardon in Texas

By Contributor

A pardon is the complete forgiveness of a crime that you have previously committed. A pardon does not remove the conviction from public record; the pardon becomes a part of public record. To apply for a pardon in Texas, you would direct your request to the governor of the state.

Review the cases where a pardon can and cannot be granted. In order to apply for a pardon in Texas, you must: be on parole, mandatory supervision, or annual report, and been under supervision for at least 12 months without any violations during those 12 months; be a former Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) or Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division (TDCJ-ID) inmate with a discharged sentence; and have served a probated sentence that is completed or incomplete with extraordinary circumstance, have served a suspended sentence that is completed, have served a jail sentence that is completed, or have served a misdemeanor sentence that is completed.

Request and attach documents related to your arrest, conviction and sentencing, as well as documents to support to request for a pardon. Documents required as part of your application include:

  1. At least three letters of recommendation from individuals who know you and your situation personally.

  2. A statement of your criminal history, which can be obtained from the local Sheriff's Department in the county where you claim residency.

  3. Certified court documentation of every arrest, including the indictment, complaint, judgment and sentencing or dismissal information for each separate arrest.

  4. Offense reports for every arrest from every arresting law enforcement agency. To find these reports, contact the police department that handled your arrests. If you were arrested by more than one department, you must contact each separate department for all of the reports.

Draft your actual pardon letter explaining your circumstances and reasoning.

Create folders for each of your separate arrests with the necessary documents inside, and folders for each conviction with the court documents inside. Keep the recommendation letters directly under your pardon letter, which should be at the top of your pile of documents. Then, mail the completed package to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

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