Pardon ApplicationGlossary of Terms
Applying for a Pardon
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To apply for a pardon, applicants must submit a completed Pardon Application along with a non-refundable application fee. This application can be requested either in writing or by calling the SCDPPPS Central Office. The contact information is as follows:
Division of Legal Services
Attn: Pardon Application Processing
2221 Devine Street, Suite 600
P.O. Box 50666 Columbia, SC 29250
A printable copy of the pardon application form is available in a PDF format (viewed using the Adobe Acrobat free reader http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Pardon Application Overview
The pardon application has three components:
- Written letters of support
- Information from the applicant
- Payment of application fee
Applicants must list the name, address, and home and work telephone numbers of those submitting letters of support for the pardon. Each letter must also be signed, recently dated (within the last 6 months), and attached to the application.
Application forms must be filled out completely, signed, and dated by the applicant. The Release of Information section of the application must also be completed and notarized.
Fees and Restitution
Under the South Carolina Code of Laws 17-25-322, an offender may not be granted pardon until all restitution is paid in full. This includes any restitution that has been converted to a civil judgment. It is the applicant’s responsibility to attach to the application a certified statement from the appropriate authority reflecting that these payments have been made. If there are any fees and/or fines, other than restitution, that have not been paid, the Board will be made aware when reviewing your case.
Applications must also be accompanied by a $100 non-refundable fee in the form of a money order or cashier's check, and made payable to: The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS). Applications that do not include this fee will be returned to the sender.
Based on the amount of information on the application that must be verified and the large number of applicants, the pardon process can be lengthy. It takes an average of seven to nine months from the time the paperwork is received until a hearing date is scheduled.
Pardon Definition- Pardon means that an individual is fully forgiven from all the legal consequences of his or her crime and conviction – direct and collateral – including the punishment, whether imprisonment, fine, or whatever penalty is provided for by law.
After reviewing the pardon application, the Board of Paroles and Pardons shall determine an individual’s eligibility based upon the following criteria:
For probationers - Probationers can be considered any time after discharge from supervision, provided all restitution has been paid in full.
For parolees - Parolees can be considered:
- Any time after successfully completing five years under supervision
- Any time after the discharge date and after successfully completing the maximum parole period, if less than five years
- Provided all restitution has been paid in full
For persons discharged from a sentence - These individuals can be considered any time after the date of discharge, provided all restitution has been paid in full.
For inmates - Inmates may be considered any time prior to becoming parole-eligible upon proof of the most extraordinary circumstances. The Board will decide, based upon the submission of proof of extraordinary circumstances, whether the evidence demonstrates such circumstances. All restitution must still be paid in full.
For inmates with terminal illness - These inmates may be considered any time after they are afflicted with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of one year or less. The Board will decide, based upon the submissions and finding, if the evidence demonstrates a condition that meets this criteria. Two separate doctor’s statements documenting life expectancy must be attached to the application. All restitution must be paid in full.
In all of the above cases, the Board’s decision shall be the final determination of pardon eligibility.
Order of Pardon
An Order of Pardon shall be signed by at least two-thirds of the members of the Board. Upon a favorable consideration by the Board, the director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services will issue a Pardon Certificate. A pardon order obtained by fraud is void.
Civil Rights Restored Upon Pardon
A pardon shall fully restore all civil rights lost as a result of a conviction. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The right to register to vote
- The right to vote
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to hold public office, except as provided for in Section 16-13-210 of state law
- The right to testify without having the fact of the conviction introduced for impeachment purposes, except to the extent provided for under rule 609 of the South Carolina Rules of Evidence.
It should be noted that an individual regains the rights to register to vote and to vote when the entire sentence has been satisfied. Also, State Statute 7-5-120 (4) (b) reads: “Persons convicted of a felony or offenses against the election laws are disqualified from being registered or voting unless such disqualifications have been removed by service of the sentence, including probation and parole time unless sooner pardoned.”