A pardon is state-sanctioned official forgiveness of a crime. Pardons recognize the crime that was committed, but the crime is forgiven by the state governor. A pardon on your record shows that the governor is welcoming you back to full citizenship in society. Usually, it is helpful to get an attorney for Oklahoma City pardons.
The Application For Oklahoma City Pardons
A pardon requires the completion of a lengthy application and it is difficult to qualify for a governor’s pardon. However, if you do qualify, a governor’s pardon can be helpful in putting your past behind you and in moving on with your life.
In order to qualify, you must have completed all aspects of the court’s sentence and the underlying conviction must have been a violation of Oklahoma state law. In addition, there must not be any pending charges against you and you may not be in jail or prison.
Finally, you must not have applied for a pardon within the past year. Because you can only apply for a pardon once a year, when you apply, you want the application to be complete and free from errors so you get it right the first time.
The application is long and quite specific. You must attach certified copies of all required court documents and proof that you have a job, an income, and a stable living situation. These documents are required:
- a certified copy (with an original county seal) of the judgment and sentence for each conviction you are seeking to have pardoned:
- a certified court clerk’s statement that all fines, fees, costs, restitution, and probation fees have been paid;
- a current credit report;
- proof of current income or employment; and
- proof of residence.
Declarations regarding your character are not required, but they can add significantly to your application. These declarations should show the pardon board how you are ready to return to society, have accepted responsibility for the crime and have atoned for it.
Your Oklahoma City pardons attorney can be a great help in helping to draft these declarations. Because these applications are so technical, it is always advisable to have an attorney handle them on your behalf.
The Investigation Process
Once the application is completed and filed with the pardon board, an investigation into the applicant begins. The investigation is lengthy and can take up to a year to complete. The purpose of the investigation is to verify all the information submitted in the application.
Once verified, the pardon application is set for hearing. Time for testimony is severely limited. Therefore, it is always best to have an Oklahoma City attorney address the matter at the hearing. Your attorney will know how to raise matters in a succinct and direct manner.
After the hearing is completed, the matter is turned over to the governor’s office for a decision. The governor has up to three months to render a decision.
Pardons are rejected for a number of reasons. It could be that the applicant’s showing of readiness is not strong enough.
In addition, problems occur when there are mistakes in the substance of the application or when a required document is not submitted. In that case, the application is rejected and you must wait another year before applying again.
If granted, a pardon certificate is filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State General’s office and anotice is sent to you or to your attorney.
Changes To Pardon Laws Effective November 1, 2019
Effective November 1, 2019, persons convicted of a felony become eligible to vote when they have completed their sentence. This means that individuals must have fully served all of their required time, including incarceration, parole, or probation.
Restoration of voting rights is automatic upon completion of a sentence. That means that no petition needs to be filed with the court. A person needs only to re-register to vote.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all questions as soon as possible.