An expungement and getting a pardon in Oklahoma City are different animals. They serve different functions, although they both make it easier to move on with your life after a scrape with the law. Here are some facts about them both that will help you understand the differences between a governor’s pardon and an expungement.
Pardon Me: A Welcome Back
A pardon is an “act of grace and mercy bestowed by state through chief executive, upon offenders against its laws.” Ex parte Jones, 25 Okl. Cr. 347, 220 P. 978 (1923). A governor’s pardon is an official statement of forgiveness. It is issued by the governor after a rigorous process. As a statement of forgiveness, it can help pave the way back into society for a convicted felon, but it does not act in the same way that an expungement does.
An Oklahoma expungement is an official sealing of certain criminal records from public view. The type of records sealed or expunged varies depending on the conviction and the type of expungement procedure used.
In contrast, a governor’s pardon does not seal or erase any records. All of the records are still available for public viewing. But with a pardon, your records also show that the underlying conviction has been pardoned.
Although getting a pardon in Oklahoma City does not erase the underlying conviction, it can help you land a job or an apartment. In essence, it shows a prospective landlord or employer that you have been forgiven and that you are a full citizen again. A pardon can also help you restore your right to vote and can help you obtain or keep certain professional licenses.
The process to obtain a pardon is a long and complicated one. And in some cases, it can be used as a first step toward expungement.
Getting a Pardon in Oklahoma City
First, you need to know that getting a pardon in Oklahoma can be a long and arduous task. There are a number of requirements that must be met. Generally, the assistance of an Oklahoma City pardon attorney is essential for your success.
In order to apply for a governor’s pardon, you must have completed all of your sentence — including all probation — and you must have paid all court fines, costs, and restitution.
Since a pardon is a show of forgiveness, you must show that you have turned over a new leaf and are taking steps toward being a responsible citizen. Thus, there may not be any new criminal charges against you and you must not be in jail or prison when you apply.
In addition, you will be required to show that you have a job and a place to live. You will need to provide a credit report, and it is beneficial to provide character statements.
The application itself is long, and your attorney should help you with it and also help you at the hearing. If your application is denied, you will have to wait a year to reapply. Thus, you want your first application to be the only one you prepare.
Once the application is submitted to the Pardon Board, all the information on it must be verified and this process can take as long as a year to complete.
Pardons are extremely technical procedurally. If you are missing something in your application, it is likely that your application will be denied.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Pardon Attorney
There is no cost or obligation for an initial consultation with our Oklahoma City pardon attorney. Call 405-588-4529 today to get answers to your questions.
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