An expungement can be a handy tool. They can help you get on with your life after a scrape with the law. However, there are times when a simple expungement is not so simple to obtain. There are lengthy waits for some expungments, and not all criminal convictions can be expunged. The law may also require that you obtain a pardon before you petition for expungement. It all depends on the crime you have committed.
A Governor’s Pardon: A First Step
A pardon is issued by the governor of Oklahoma upon the completion of a lengthy application process. It acts as an official statement of forgiveness for the crime pardoned. It tells society that you have paid your dues and have re-entered society as a full citizen.
If you have been pardoned, your court records will still show the conviction, but they will also show the pardon. For many, this is the opening step toward a later expungement of their criminal records.
Pardons: They Can Help Other Things as Well
Besides, being a first step toward expungement, there are some things that a Governor’s pardon can help you do. You can:
- own, work with or obtain firearms if your underlying conviction was non-violent. That means that you can get a job in security or law enforcement or work as a gunsmith. You may even qualify for a concealed weapon license.
- get a job more easily.
- obtain or renew certain licenses, such as a liquor license, or a professional license such as a nursing, medical or legal license.
- perform tasks and jobs of a civic nature, such as sit on a jury, vote, or hold public office.
The Process is Complicated
You must qualify. Situations differ, but all the following must be true in your case for you to apply for a pardon:
- the underlying conviction was for a violation of Oklahoma state law;
- you have completed the entirety of your sentence for the offense and paid all costs associated with it;
- there are no pending charges against you;
- you are not currently in jail or prison; and
- you have not been considered for pardon within the past year.
This is a process best handled by your Okmulgee pardon attorney. The application is 16 pages long and all required documents must be attached, including certified copies of all required court documents, such as: credit report, certified statements that you have completed your sentence, proof of income and current living situation and character affidavits. If you fail to attach the required documents or make a mistake in the application, your application will be denied and you will have to wait another year before re-applying.
The investigation can take as much as one year, after which there is a hearing and the pardon board renders its decision.
Pardons are extremely technical procedurally and always best handled by an experienced pardon attorney. A year can be a long time to wait. You want to get it right the first time.
Free Consultation With an Experienced Okmulgee Criminal Pardon Attorney
Let us help you with your pardon needs and concerns. Call our Okmulgee office at (918) 756-9600 or toll-free (888) Wirth-LAW now for a free consultation at the Wirth Law Office – Okmulgee. Or, enter your legal question or concern in the firm at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly return your message.