The Oklahoma pardon process is different than an expungement and begins with an application to the pardon and parole board. An application for pardon is attached, along with an information sheet. It is important that all items on the application be answered and returned to the address listed below. The information you provide will help you to present yourself as a responsible and productive citizen. The Pardon and Parole Board will review this information in making a decision on your application.
If you live in Oklahoma, a probation and parole officer from the Department of Corrections will conduct the investigation. You should be completely open and honest with the investigating officer. Negative information will not necessarily hurt your application. It may serve to show how you were able to overcome a problem and actually improve your chances. The investigation should be completed approximately 60 days after you apply.
If you live in another state, information will be requested from authorities in your state regarding current employment and living arrangements, and a local criminal record check will be requested. Interstate investigations usually take about 90 days to complete.
After the completed investigation is returned to our office, your application will be submitted to the Pardon and Parole Board for their consideration on the next available docket. If you receive a favorable recommendation from a majority of the Board, that recommendation will be forwarded to the Governor’s office for a final decision.
In order for a pardon to be effective, it must include all Oklahoma district court felony and misdemeanor convictions, and district court traffic convictions, which involved drugs or alcohol. If you have cases, which have been pardoned before, these do not need to be included in your application. The Pardon and Parole Board cannot pardon Federal cases or convictions from other states. A pardon will not clear your record. It does not prevent your criminal record from being considered when decisions are made concerning employment or other matters. Even if you are pardoned, your record may continue to affect you. A person who was under 18 years old at the time his or her offense was committed and who has received a pardon may also seek an expungement so that the record gets sealed. From the time your application is received, it usually takes between 90 and 120 days for consideration by the Pardon and Parole Board. Applications from persons residing in other states usually take about 30 days longer. The Board’s recommendation must be approved by the Governor for a pardon to be granted. Governor approval usually takes from 30 to 60 days. The effects of a pardon listed below concern Oklahoma law. If you reside in another state, the effects may be different.
Some professions require licenses. The licensing agency for each profession operates under different laws and policies. Some will not license you even if you are pardoned, some will consider you only if you receive a pardon, and others do not require a pardon. If you are considering applying for a pardon in order to obtain a particular type of employment or a license, you should first check with the employer or licensing agency to see if it would be helpful to do so. Even if you are pardoned, you must still answer “yes” if asked if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor on an employment application. You can add however, that you have been pardoned. A pardon does not remove the conviction from your record.
To be eligible for a liquor license, you must be pardoned on all felonies (Oklahoma, other states, and Federal). You must also be pardoned on all alcohol-related district court misdemeanor convictions from Oklahoma and any other state. Your spouse, partner, partner’s spouse, employees, corporate officers, and directors cannot legally obtain a liquor license if you have not been pardoned.
Voting and Jury Duty after
Even if you are pardoned, you cannot vote for a period equal to the length of your sentence. For example, if you were convicted and given a two-year sentence on January 1, 1990, you cannot vote until January 1, 1992. This is true even if you have discharged the sentence and a pardon has been granted. To serve on a jury, you must be qualified to vote, and you must also obtain a pardon.
Holding Public Office After an Oklahoma Pardon
If you have been convicted of any felony (or misdemeanor involving embezzlement), you cannot seek or hold any state, county or city office (including school offices) for 15 years after the completion of your sentence unless you have received a pardon. Your city may also have other regulations regarding eligibility to hold office.
PROPERTY RIGHTS A felony conviction does not prevent you from owning property, with one exception. A person convicted of murder first degree, murder second degree, or manslaughter first degree cannot inherit property from the victim nor receive proceeds from the victim’s insurance. A pardon would not change this.
FIREARMS Any person that has been convicted of a nonviolent felony and who has received a full and complete pardon is eligible to possess a firearm, pursuant to 21 O.S. Supp.2000, § 1283(B). It is not possible for a person convicted of a violent felony to possess a firearm, even with a pardon (see 21 O.S. Supp.2000, § 1283(A). There may be Federal laws that apply to you. For more information contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Future Felony Convictions
A pardon will not prevent prior convictions from being considered if you are later convicted of a felony. Your previous record may be used in the sentencing process even if the offense has been pardoned.
Why Should I Apply?
An Oklahoma pardon is a great chance to fix a prior bad act. A pardon acts to restore many of your civil rights that were taken from you as the result the felony conviction. It can be useful in helping you to present yourself as a responsible citizen. A pardon serves as recognition that you have adjusted well to society since completing your sentence,
Qualifying for an Oklahoma Pardon.
- You have been convicted of a violation of Oklahoma law, either a felony or a misdemeanor.
- No pending charges.
- Not currently in jail or prison.
- You must have discharged all sentences, successfully completed parole or a suspended sentence, or completed five years under supervision on the current case(s)
- You cannot have been considered or investigated for a pardon within the past six months. For further information concerning pardons and the pardon process
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