Pardon After Completion of Sentence

The President can grant a pardon to a person who was convicted in a United States District Court, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, or a military court-martial. Generally, a pardon is an expression of forgiveness. A pardon can help eliminate some of the consequences of a conviction.

Under Department of Justice rules, there is a five-year waiting period before a person can apply for pardon. The waiting period begins when a person is released from confinement. Or, if there was no prison sentence, the waiting period begins on the date of sentencing.

  • Download the pardon application instructions, privacy statement, and Rules Governing Petitions for Executive Clemency (PDF)
  • Download the pardon application form (PDF)
  • Standards for considering pardon petitions (Justice Manual Section 9-140.112)


Updated March 27, 2023

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No