Five benefits of getting past criminal conviction(s) pardoned in Nevada include:
- More job opportunities
- Potential restoration of gun rights
- Potential restoration of civil rights
- Pardoned offenses are immune from impeachment
- Reduced risk of deportation
Note that getting a pardon is not the same as getting a Nevada record seal. Record seals hide past convictions so they do not show up on background checks (in most cases). A pardon does not hide past convictions — a pardon is just an official forgiveness of the past convictions.
1. More job opportunities
Bosses are always more likely to hire job applicants if their past conviction(s) have been pardoned. Depending on the situation, job applicants may have to attach a Xerox of their pardon letter with their job application or bring it with them to their job interview.
Unless specified otherwise, pardon letters lift all the legal disabilities that criminal convictions carry. However, certain professional licensing boards can still deny licenses to applicants for having bad moral character despite having gotten past convictions pardoned. For example, learn more about how past convictions can prevent aspiring brokers from getting a Nevada real estate license.
2. Potential restoration of gun rights
Getting a pardon is the only way in Nevada that convicted felons may get their gun rights restored. Getting a record seal does not restore gun rights ever.
3. Potential restoration of civil rights
In most cases, people who successfully complete their felony sentence automatically regain their rights to vote and serve on a civil jury. Then they regain the right to hold public office four (4) years after the case ends. Finally, they regain the right to serve on a criminal jury six (6) years after the sentence ends.
But if a person does not get their civil rights restored automatically, a pardon can restore them. But there are exceptions:
Getting a pardon does not restore any of the aforementioned rights if the person has a Nevada conviction for either:
- a category A felony; and/or
- a category B felony that involved the use of force or violence that caused the victim to sustain major bodily harm; and/or
- two or more felonies (except if all of them arose out of the same act, transaction, or occurrence)
The only way people in these situations can attempt to get their civil rights restored is by petitioning the actual court which found them guilty.
Note that pardons remove legal disabilities resulting from only those convictions named in the pardon, not from all the person’s past convictions (unless they are all named in the pardon).
Also note that pardons do not relieve sex offenders from the requirements to register.
4. Pardoned offenses are immune from impeachment
Pardoned convictions may not then be used to impeach the person (attack his/her credibility) if the person ever testifies in court as a witness.
5. Reduced risk of deportation
Immigrants who get pardoned for a deportable offense are less likely to be deported from the U.S. than immigrants without a pardon. However, getting a pardon is not a certain bar to deportation.
Learn more about getting a Nevada pardon.