A pardon is an executive recognition that a former criminal has made a complete turnaround in life and become a responsible and productive citizen. After a pardon is recommended by the parole board, it must be granted by the standing governor.
The general rule for a client to be eligible for a pardon is that they must have completed their sentence, including any parole or probation time, or have been released from the incarceration portion of their sentence for at least five years.
The catch with pardons is that it is solely up to the governor to choose what is considered evidence of someone turning their life around. Our attorneys are skilled strategists when it comes to proving our clients’ credibility through an otherwise gray area.
Difference between a Pardon and Expungement
Under Oklahoma law, a pardon by itself will not clear a person’s record. It does not prevent a prior criminal record from being considered when decisions are made concerning employment or other matters. Even if a pardon is granted, the record may continue to affect them.
A person who was less than 18 years old at the time an offense was committed and has since received a pardon may seek record expungement. Any person convicted of a non-violent felony that has received a pardon for the offense and has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony charges, or have them pending, may file a motion for expungement after 10 years have passed.
Like any institution, the US justice system has its flaws. This especially rings true in regards to criminal law. Sometimes innocent people are wrongly convicted and guilty people go free. The dilemma this presents for the innocent is that the process does not end upon a wrongful conviction, nor is it the end for a convicted defendant.
An appeal of a criminal conviction or sentence is a statutory right and a viable legal option available post-conviction. Not all legal errors are appealable, but those such as incorrect jury instructions, juror misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, and new DNA or witness evidence are amongst a few common grounds to appeal on.
At M. K. Bailey Law Offices, our legal precision and familiarity with navigating the appellate process has enabled us to win post-conviction briefs on behalf of our clients. You may call us today to start the process of removing old records that hinder your future.