Clemency

The process you went through from the initial arrest to your incarceration may have been a long one filled with various emotions. When you were arrested and brought in for the first time, you were only suspected of committing a crime. As you met with your lawyer, you were made aware of possible defenses and the potential penalties you could face if convicted, but you were confident that it wouldn’t have to come down to that. Your trial comes and goes and the final judgment is handed down. You may have entered the courthouse as a suspect but you left as a convicted felon sentenced to life in prison. To you, this feels like the end, but it is vital that you are aware of your legal options for possibly shortening your sentence.

Many people faced with the prospects of living life as a convicted felon,  choose to stop trying after a conviction, but keeping hope alive can work to your benefit. Reach out to an experienced Orlando clemency lawyer to discover how you may be able to benefit from executive clemency. Our team boasts over 100 years of combined experience and time spent as prosecutors on the state and local level.

What is Clemency?

Clemency is the act of extending mercy to a convicted individual by an executive member of government. The governor can grant clemency for state crimes while the president is the only person who can grant clemency for federal crimes. For individuals who may be facing the death penalty, clemency can be the difference between life and death. Clemency can be granted for various reasons including doubt of guilt and — in murder cases — as a result of pleas from the victim’s family. Clemency can come in one of the following three forms:

Reprieves

A reprieve is the temporary suspension of a sentence which can occur for multiple reasons. In the past, they have come as a result of overcrowded prisons or other extenuating circumstances. In regards to individuals facing the death penalty, a reprieve can put off the carrying out of the sentence to reconsider if it is necessary in that case specifically.

Commutation

Commutation can truncate the term of a sentence and is determined by the commissioner of corrections instead of the governor. A key example of commutation is an individual who was originally sentenced to life in prison having his or her term altered to a specific number of years. Commutation commonly comes as a result of good behavior and likelihood to fully rehabilitate, otherwise known as serving “good time.”

Pardons

A granted pardon results in the convicted person’s crime and penalty being forgiven. The head of state or governor will often grant a pardon when he or she believes the incarcerated individual has fulfilled his or her debt to society or is worthy of forgiveness for any other reason. A pardon will not erase the conviction from the individual’s record, but it may lift some disqualifications attached to the conviction.

Determining Clemency Eligibility

As you may assume, clemency is not something just anyone can get granted.  Only a handful of people are given this opportunity out of the numerous applicants. The Department evaluates the following five factors in determining whether or not an individual should be granted clemency:

  • Post-conviction conduct, character, and reputation
  • Seriousness and relative recentness of the offense
  • Acceptance of responsibility, remorse, and atonement
  • Need for Relief
  • Official recommendations and reports

Those found to be in the best standing will likely be granted clemency. However, it is difficult to achieve this without the help of an aggressive and passionate criminal defense attorney relentlessly advocating for your freedom. Improve the chances of having your clemency application approved by securing legal representation from an Orlando clemency lawyer at The Umansky Law Firm.

Experienced Orlando Clemency Lawyers

Clemency can be most beneficial to those who believe they were harshly punished for their crimes. The Orlando clemency lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can seek a reduction in your sentence and help prevent you from having to endure especially harsh penalties. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation. Our team of Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers is ready to provide you with the legal representation you require.