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Eligibility Requirements

All applicants for a pardon extraordinary must both wait the required waiting period before applying for a pardon and have a conviction that falls under the Board of Pardon’s jurisdiction. Both are explained in detail below.

Waiting period:

(1) If the applicant was convicted of a "crime of violence" (determined by Minn. Stat. 624.712), ten years must have elapsed since the sentence expired. During that time the person must not have been convicted of any other crime (felony drug convictions are considered crimes of violence).

(2) Applicants not convicted of crimes of violence may apply for a pardon five years after the expiration of their sentences. During that time they must not have been convicted of any other crime (including misdemeanors and misdemeanor traffic violations such as DWI).

If an applicant commits a new crime during the waiting period, the waiting period is reset and starts over again from the time the applicant is discharged from probation for the new crime.

Even though the board only has jurisdiction over Minnesota criminal convictions, a conviction in any jurisdiction, including other states or foreign countries, will be considered in determining the waiting period. The waiting period must be fully completed at the time you appear before the Board unless a waiver is granted.

Minnesota conviction:

The Board's jurisdiction extends to Minnesota criminal convictions that meet two requirements:

(1) The offense for which the pardon is sought must be a criminal conviction. In Minnesota, a "petty misdemeanor" is not a crime. Likewise, matters which were dismissed by a stay of adjudication, diversion program, or Minn. Stat. 152.18 dismissal are not criminal convictions. The Board does not consider civil matters such as tax liabilities, civil commitment, harassment restraining orders, or the like.

(2) The conviction must have taken place in a Minnesota state district court. Clemency for federal convictions must be considered by the President through the Office of the United States Pardons Attorney:

Office of the Pardon Attorney
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 11000
Washington, D.C. 20530
Ph: (202) 616-6070 
http://www.justice.gov/pardon/index.html

Likewise, the Minnesota Board of Pardons does not have jurisdiction to review convictions from other states or foreign countries, even if you are/were a citizen of Minnesota either now or at the time of the offense.

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