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I have a federal felony drug conviction from over 24 years ago. I am now 58.Am I wasting my time trying to get a pardon?

Fort Worth, TX |

I plead guilty to introducing a friend to a Cocaine dealer. The friend got caught with cocaine in his possession and said I introduced them Therefore I was arrested for conspiracy to distribute. I was given an court appointed lawyer who really did not do much but say plead guilty and hope for the best. I did this and now this haunts me. I now am 58 and I have never been in trouble since. It has now been 24 years. Not even a traffic ticket. I truly regret all of this and I am a productive member of society. Can I do anything to remove this or even a pardon? Where do I start? Or am I wasting my time? I was able to acquire a state adjuster license for after writing the state and being honest and open with them . I know this shows on my record and I make a stupid mistake. Can I do anything?

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Attorney answers 4


As you probably know, there is no expungement or record sealing in the federal system. Your only avenue of relief is a presidential pardon. Pardons are very rare and can be costly to prepare and pursue. However, that's your only avenue of relief, and one that is likelier to happen toward the end of President Obama's current term, if at all.

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Keep trying for that State Adjuster's license as you certainly can show from your rehabilitation, that you are worthy to have it.

Remember, if you were in Federal Court and your CJA attorney advised you to plead guilty, I am sure that he or she explained how the US sentencing guidelines worked and how much more time you would get losing at trial. (See the link below) So as Mr. Solis so aptly put it, try to get Obama at the end of the term to hear your request. Take Care!


Presidential pardons are extremely rare; however, any effort to better your life is never a waste of your time.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


Clearly federal law should include a system of Pretrial Intervention or Drug Court similar to the one found in state systems such as Tampa Bay, Florida which allow nonviolent drug charges such as yours to be dismissed after a period of counseling. However, current federal criminal law not only has no Pretrial Intervention, but no Drug Court and for a prior conviction only allows a pardon from the president.

Yet it's important that you never give up on your future. Although federal law would require a pardon directly from the presidential himself, the very act of applying for that pardon would help you to formulate the best possible arguments for why your prior drug conviction should no longer hold you back in life.

Requesting a pardon is a time consuming process, but your future is worth it. And you'll at least know that you've done everything possible and given your best shot to do everything within your power to win back your future.

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