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According to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Website:
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. With the help of an Oklahoma pardon attorney, this process takes approximately six months to one year to complete.
If you live in the state of Oklahoma, a Probation and Parole Officer of the Department of Corrections will conduct the investigation. You should be completely open and honest with the investigating Officer. Information you might consider negative will not necessarily hurt your application. It may serve to show how you were able to overcome a problem and actually improve your chances of receiving a Pardon.
If you live in another state, authorities in your home state will be asked to verify the information you have submitted. A local criminal record check will also be requested. The process may take longer than six months for applicants living in another state.
After the investigation is completed and returned to our office, your Application will be submitted to the Pardon and Parole Board for their consideration on the next available docket (the Board meets once each month). If you receive a favorable recommendation from a majority of the Board members, that recommendation will be forwarded to the Governor’s office for a final decision. You will be notified in writing of the Board’s recommendation and the Governor’s decision. Please note the process takes approximately six months to complete; however, in some instances, it can take longer.
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 Governor of the state of Oklahoma cannot pardon Federal cases or convictions from another state.
Under Oklahoma law, 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 granted a pardon, your record may continue to affect you.
Notably, a pardon often opens up the ability to clear your record in certain situations though. For instance, a person who was under 18 years old at the time his or her offense was committed and who has received a pardon may seek to have their record expunged, see 22 O.S. § 18(6).
Furthermore, any person convicted of not more than two (2) nonviolent felony offenses who has received a full pardon for each offense and has no felony or misdemeanor charges pending may, after twenty (20) years has passed (since the last misdemeanor or felony conviction), file a motion for expungement, see 22 O.S. § 18(13).
If you are recommended for a pardon by the Pardon and Parole Board, your file will then be sent to the Governor for consideration. The Board’s recommendation must be approved by the Governor for a pardon to be granted. You will be notified of the decision of the Board and the Governor.
According to the new 2018 expungement laws, individuals can now get a single nonviolent felony conviction expunged without a pardon if the person has no other felony convictions, has not been convicted of a separate misdemeanor within the last seven (7) years, has no other felony or misdemeanor charges pending, and at least five (5) years have passed since the sentence resulting from the felony conviction ended.
Be warned though: an expungement of your felony conviction without a pardon DOES NOT restore your civil liberties. Even if you get a felony conviction expunged under the new law, you will not be able to vote or possess a firearm (among other restrictions) UNTIL you receive a full pardon.
Regardless, many individuals believe that, since a pardon does not completely clear your record in and of itself, a pardon application is not worth the time or money it takes to pursue. However, this is not true. Under Oklahoma law, a pardon can help a convicted felon reclaim many of his or her civil rights, such as the right to own and possess a firearm and the right to vote. Furthermore, a pardon can make it much easier to gain employment. Moreover, as noted above, an expungement of a felony conviction without a pardon could lead to unforeseen issues and potential trouble.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Oklahoma, you may be eligible for a pardon. You need an experienced Oklahoma pardons attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.