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Pardon Request Instructions and Guidelines

 

What is a pardon?

A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some or all legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. In this case, we’re working to pardon non-violent marijuana/marijuana paraphernalia convictions to remove as many barriers to jobs, housing and opportunities as possible that exist for some in our community.

Why can a mayor pardon?

The power of the pardon is given to the Mayor by section 209(b) of the Kansas City Charter. The Mayor does not have the power to pardon state or federal convictions.

Who can apply for a pardon?

To be eligible for consideration for a Mayoral pardon, you must have been convicted in Kansas City Municipal Court of possession of marijuana/marijuana paraphernalia.

NOTE: Per state law, the Mayor can only pardon convictions of municipal ordinance charges and cannot pardon state or federal convictions. If you were convicted of violating state law the Mayor cannot pardon you.

How can I apply for a pardon?

You can submit your pardon application online at KCMO.gov/MayoralPardon or you can fill out a form in person in the Kansas City Clerk’s Office (25th Floor, City Hall, 414 E. 12th St. Kansas City, Mo. 64106). Scanned Pardon Applications, along with any accompanying documents, may be emailed to MayoralPardon@kcmo.org. Please label all packets or emails submitted to the Mayor’s office with “Pardon Request.”

How much does it cost to apply for a Mayoral pardon?

There is no charge to apply for a Mayoral pardon.

Is my marijuana/paraphernalia conviction eligible for review for pardon?

Municipal, state and federal violations are prosecuted in different places and by different authorities. Legally, the Mayor may only pardon municipal violations.

If you appeared in Kansas City Municipal Court for your violation, then you were convicted of a municipal ordinance and your application is ELIGIBLE for pardon review.

If your ticket number has a number (0-5) followed by the letter “G” and then six additional numbers, then you were charged with violating a municipal ordinance and your application is ELIGIBLE for pardon review.

If your case number starts with the letter “G” (or the letter “N,” if the case was filed prior to August 2011), and then eight additional numbers, then you were charged with violating a municipal ordinance and your application is ELIGIBLE for pardon review.

If you appeared in the Jackson County, Clay County, or Platte County Courthouse, then you were charged with violating state law and your conviction is NOT ELIGIBLE for Mayoral pardon.

if you appeared in the Federal Courthouse, then you were charged with violating federal law and your conviction is NOT ELIGIBLE for Mayoral pardon.

If your case number includes the letters jointly, "CR," then you were convicted of violating state law and your conviction is NOT ELIGIBLE for Mayoral pardon.

If the description of your charge includes "RSMo: 579.074", then you were convicted of violating state law and your conviction is NOT ELIGIBLE for Mayoral pardon.

How can I find my case number?

If you have a copy of your municipal conviction record readily available, your case number will be on that record.

If not, you may request your conviction records from the Kansas City Municipal Court by completing a Records Request Form. For further records request questions, contact the Kansas City Municipal Court at (816)513-2700 or visit their office at 511 E. 11th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64106.

Why not just mass pardon everyone with these convictions?

The City Charter does not allow a Mayor to make mass pardons. The Mayor must review each pardon application on a case-by-case basis.

Will the Mayor consider pardons for higher offenses, as well (i.e. possession, distribution, and driving under influence)?

The Mayor will only consider pardons for non-violent, low-level marijuana/marijuana paraphernalia convictions. That said, all applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How long will it take to hear back from the Mayor’s Office?

It will take about six to eight weeks to complete the application review process. You will be notified either way of your case disposition.

What’s the difference between a pardon and an expungement?

A Mayoral pardon does not have the same legal effect as an expungement. Pardons do not remove a conviction from your criminal record, yet they do provide executive forgiveness for the offense. 

Will I still have to report the crime to my employer?

You may still be required to disclose your conviction on job or housing applications, if asked; however, you may also include official documentation of your Mayoral pardon.

An expungement seals a criminal record entirely.

What if I want an expungement instead of a pardon?

Under state law, only a Missouri state judge has the legal authority to expunge a criminal record. Kansas Citians may apply for expungement through the state courts here.