Sometimes it is necessary to find a Muskogee, Oklahoma pardon attorney because when it comes to old criminal convictions, what happened in the past does not always stay in the past.
Case Study: Mary
Consider the example of “Mary,” an imaginary person we created as a typical person who might who approach a Muskogee attorney to ask about a pardon in Oklahoma.
Mary is a 30-year old mother of two. She has a decent job as a waitress, but struggles to make ends meet. She has a small apartment in the not-so-nice end of town. Mary has a ready, but tired smile.
She would like a better paying job as a teacher’s aide in the school her children attend — but schools run background checks, and Mary is a convicted felon.
You would never know it by looking at her, but Mary was released from jail two years ago where she served time on a theft charge. She would like to move on, but is unsure how.
Luckily, Mary has a friend who knows a good lawyer. She picks up the phone and calls to make an appointment for a consultation with an experienced Muskogee pardon attorney.
This is an all-too-familiar scenario. It is difficult to pick up your life, make things right, and move on. And old convictions keep the stigma of jail alive and kicking for many who have served their time and just want a clean start again.
There are studies that show that promoting successful re-entry into the community after jail leads to lower recidivism rates. Once you are feeling successful in your life, there is less inclination to return to old law-breaking patterns to get ahead.
A pardon helps eases the stigma of an old conviction and makes re-entry easier.
A Pardon Can Help
A pardon is an official and public act of forgiveness. It does not seal your records the way that an expungement does, but it is the next best thing.
A background check will still show your arrest and conviction, but it will also show your pardon. It is a public announcement that you are forgiven and that you are ready to be a full citizen in society again. This can make it easier to get a good job, a nice apartment, or financing for a car or home.
In addition, it restores certain rights and privileges that were lost to you when you were convicted. You can:
- vote again,
- serve on a jury,
- regain the right to own and use firearms (if you’ve never been convicted of a violent crime), and
- it will be easier to obtain certain professional and other types of licenses that might not be open to you after your conviction.
When is a Pardon Available?
In order to qualify for a governor’s pardon, you must meet the following requirements:
- the crime must have been committed in Oklahoma,
- you have completed all court requirements — including the payment of all fees, costs, and restitution (if it was ordered),
- you must not have any criminal charges pending against you,
- you must not currently be jailed or imprisoned, and
- you cannot have applied for a pardon in the last year.
While the pardon application is just a form that is filled out and submitted, there are a number of requirements that must be fulfilled in order for your application to be reviewed and granted. If any required document is missing or if there is a mistake or missing information from your application, your application will be rejected and you will have to wait for another year to resubmit.
Because precision is needed on the application and because the investigation and review process is long and complex, you should think about having an experienced Muskogee pardon attorney help you with your case. Your attorney can answer your questions and help you get this done right the first time.
What Happens After I Submit My Pardon Application?
The pardon process can take as long as a year to complete.
Once you submit your 16-page application and the required accompanying documents, the Pardon Board begins a full investigation into your background.
They check your financial, employment, and housing history.
They will also check into your character and speak to the witnesses who provided character affidavits for you. While character affidavits are not required to accompany your application, they can really help the Pardon Board to see the person, not just the conviction. Your Muskogee pardon attorney will have insight as to who might provide you with positive character references and what might be included in those references.
Finally, there is a hearing at which either you or your attorney may address the Pardon Board. The time to address the Board is short, but it provides you an opportunity to address anything that you may feel is important to your application.
A Muskogee pardon attorney knows the ins and outs of every step of the pardon process. He or she can help you understand what documents are best to attach, how to address every issue that the Board will want to hear about, and how to represent yourself in a light most suited to helping you get the pardon you want.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Muskogee Pardon Attorney
Call 918-884-7744 now for a free consultation with a Muskogee pardon attorney.
Your inquiry is confidential and without obligation; you have nothing to lose but stress, so give our pardon attorney a call today.