If you have a criminal record in Oklahoma, you may qualify to apply for a pardon.
While a pardon does not erase your criminal record, it will restore the rights which a felony conviction or certain misdemeanors have stripped you. It is also the first step on the path to getting a full expungement, which does entirely clear your criminal history.
The following is a step by step guide to how the process of obtaining a pardon from the Oklahoma Governor works.
The first step in the pardon process is filling out the application. The application must be filled out completely and truthfully. There are some places where it must be signed and notarized, so check it over very carefully before submitting it.
The application must be turned into the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. The Board meets once a month to review all the applications that have been submitted; then, they make recommendations to the Oklahoma Governor for people requesting pardons.
Step Two: Letters and Affidavits
Each person applying for a pardon is allowed to include letters and affidavits from people who can attest to their character. These people might be an employer, a church leader, a sponsor, a mentor, or a community leader who can vouch for their good character and rehabilitation.
These letters must be signed, dated recently, and notarized. The name, address, home and work phone numbers must also be included for each person who has written on behalf of the person applying for a pardon.
Step Three: Documents
The last of the paperwork to be submitted to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is all of the court documents related to your criminal record. You must have certified copies of the judgement and sentence, proof that all court costs and fines were paid, and a current credit report, as well as address and employment verification.
Once all your paperwork has been submitted, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will review your application at their monthly meeting. You are entitled to speak, or have your Oklahoma pardon lawyer speak on your behalf.
However, as you are allowed to speak for only about two minutes, hiring experienced representation with understanding of these hearings is invaluable. The Board will then make their recommendation to the Oklahoma Governor the following Monday morning.
Step Five: Grant or Deny: Oklahoma Governor
The Oklahoma Governor has 90 days to grant or deny the Board's recommendation for pardon. If the Governor denies the pardon, the person applying for the pardon may reapply one year after the date the pardon was denied.
If the Governor grants the pardon, that person may qualify to apply for an expungement of their criminal record. When the pardon is granted, rights and privileges will then also be restored to the applicant, and it will go on record that the offense has been pardoned.
The process in Oklahoma to get a pardon might seem daunting, but if you hire the right lawyer, you will be able to get the job done. Clean Slate Lawyers is experienced in advocating for our clients’ pardon and expungement cases. Call or text our team today at (405) 351-6833 to be connected with an experienced pardon attorney.