The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board website will give you all the technical steps to obtaining a pardon from the Oklahoma Governor for your criminal record. The last step is you or your attorney speaking to the Board at the pardon hearing to help the Board decide whether or not to recommend your pardon to the Governor.
The website is very helpful, but it does not tell you what the Board wants to hear in those approximately five minutes you have the chance to speak to the Board. An experienced pardon attorney can help you navigate what you should say to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Here are four of the things you should know.
Oklahoma Pardon Advice #1: Take Responsibility For Your Actions
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board wants your application fully filled out. They want references, character affidavits, and pages signed and notarized. Once you get to the hearing, they want to hear you or your pardon attorney state why you should be recommended for pardon. What should be said?
First and foremost, take responsibility for your past actions. They do not want to hear excuses as to why you were convicted of the crime(s) you are seeking to pardon. They do not want to hear you blame others for what happened to you. They do not want to hear your trial was not fair. They do not want to know about your ineffective public defender. They want to hear you say you know what you did was wrong, you are sorry for your actions, you have made amends, you have changed, and that you take full responsibility for what happened.
Oklahoma Pardon Advice #2: Have A Good Reason For Why You Want a Pardon
It is important you express why you are seeking a pardon. Are you interested in volunteering and you cannot do so without a pardon? Are you in need of public housing and you must have a pardon in order to be eligible for that assistance? Are you trying to get your entire record expunged and you need a pardon to complete the first step of that process?
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board needs to hear a good reason for why you need a pardon in order to recommend you to the Governor for consideration.
Oklahoma Pardon Advice #3: Have A Good Reason For Why You Deserve a Pardon
Why you need a pardon and why you deserve a pardon are two different things. You must prove to the Board that you have turned your life around and are not the same person who was convicted of the crime(s) you are seeking the pardon for. What have you done to change you life?
It is important to talk about therapy you have attended, AA or NA meetings you go to, counseling from a religious mentor, or any other efforts you have made to better your character. These things will all be taken into consideration while the Board decides whether or not you deserve a pardon.
Oklahoma Pardon Advice #4: The Longer the Time Since the Offense, The Better
Reason number three leads right into reason number four. It takes time to deserve a pardon. You must put forth the effort to complete court ordered probation successfully, or completely finish community service assigned. The longer you have been in AA or NA the better. The more counseling sessions you can attest to, the better.
The more time you have behind you the easier it will be to show the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board you have done everything possible to re-establish yourself as an upstanding citizen.
When you are going through the process of obtaining a pardon in Oklahoma, you should have an experienced attorney on your side. Clean Slate Lawyers is committed to helping those who have earned a second chance to clear their record. Call or text our team today at (405) 351-6833 to be connected with an attorney who gets the job done.