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Pardons for Oklahoma Crimes
PARDONS ARE DIFFERENT FROM EXPUNGEMENTS
Pardon authority is given to the Governor by the Oklahoma Constitution (Art. 6, § 10) and the Oklahoma Statutes. A pardon is an “act of grace and mercy bestowed by state through chief executive, upon offenders against its laws.” Ex parte Jones, 25 Okl. Cr. 347, 220 P. 978 (1923). Before the Governor may grant a pardon, you must receive a favorable recommendation by a majority of the members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
A pardon is merely an official “forgiveness” of a crime. Obtaining a pardon does not result in “clearing” or “expunging” your record. Even after the Governor issues a pardon, you will still have an arrest record identifying the crime and date of offense, but the record will read “Pardoned by the Governor” or something similar.
An expungement is the sealing or clearing of your criminal record — depending on your eligibility.
OKLAHOMA PARDON PROCESS & PROCEDURE
Oklahoma Pardons require filling out an 16-page application, providing certified copies of court documents, appearing before the Pardon and Parole Board, and final approval by the Governor. Pardons are difficult to obtain and given the current political climate in Oklahoma, fewer and fewer are going to be granted. Having an experienced lawyer guide you through the Oklahoma pardon and parole process will help, but the results cannot be guaranteed. Note that pardons are obtained through a political process under the Executive Branch and not through the courts or Judicial Branch of government.
OKLAHOMA FELONY EXPUNGEMENT AFTER PARDON
If a pardon is or has been successfully obtained, you may be able to move forward with expunging your Oklahoma criminal record under Section 18 after our lawyers have examined the situation and factors regarding your conviction.
NOT ALL FELONY CHARGES REQUIRE PARDON
Not all felony charges require a pardon before becoming eligible for expungement.
If you were convicted (e.g., sentenced to a jail or prison term or a suspended sentence) of a non-violent felony, you must first obtain a pardon before qualifying. The same is true for any felony conviction received by a person who was under age 18 at the time of conviction.
However, if you received a deferred sentence for an Oklahoma felony, a pardon is not required.
NO PARDON OR EXPUNGEMENT FOR VIOLENT FELONY
If you were convicted of a violent felony ( listed in 57 Okla. Stat. § 571), you will not qualify for a pardon or expungement.
FOR MORE INFO
For more information regarding the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, we have included some helpful links below.
Our lawyers can help you with the pardon application and present it to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis.