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A pardon is an act of forgiveness granted by the Governor for a crime(s) committed by an individual. A pardon is not a parole or commutation and does not clear a criminal record, but does acknowledge that someone has worked hard to become a productive, law-abiding citizen after making mistakes in the past.
A pardon is necessary in order to receive an expungement of a criminal record. Those who are currently incarcerated cannot apply for a pardon.
There is no fee to apply for a pardon; however, there are several requirements to determine eligibility for a pardon.
Federal or Other State Pardons
The Governor cannot pardon federal convictions or convictions from other states. If you are seeking a pardon for a conviction in another state, contact that state. If you are seeking a pardon for a federal conviction, contact the Office of the Pardon Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Ave., N.W. Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. 20530 (202) 616-6070.
For more information on expungement, visit the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's Expungement Questions page on their website.
Although pardons can only be granted by the Governor, the Board receives the information necessary to fulfill its statutory role of preparing a pardon packet and issuing a recommendation to the Governor. Following are the instructions for completing a pardon application:
Complete and forward one (1) copy of the Pardon Application and all attachments to the Pardon and Parole Board to:
Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board
2915 N. Classen, Suite 405
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
APPLICANTS SHOULD KEEP A COPY OF ALL SUBMITTED DOCUMENTS!
It is the applicant’s responsibility to attach to the application the appropriate and required documentation. The application will not be processed until it is considered complete. If the application is not complete, you will receive notification.
Once the letter is forwarded for pre-pardon investigation, the applicant will receive notification.
All of the information submitted in the pardon application, including the references must be verified. The pardon application process is lengthy. It can take six (6) months to one (1) year to complete once a completed application has been received.
Upon receiving a complete application, OSBI reports are ordered and received. This process may take anywhere from two (2) weeks to several months depending upon OSBI resources available for processing such requests. Applicants must list the name, address, and home and work telephone numbers of those submitting character affidavits and support letters for the pardon. Each letter must also be signed, recently dated, notarized, and attached to the application.
Application forms must be filled out completely, signed, dated by the applicant, and notarized where required. The Release of Information section and the Confirmation of Truth section of the application must be completed.
The application is then assigned to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections District Office of Probation and Parole by address for in-state applications to have a pre-pardon investigation performed. The application is assigned to the General Counsel for the Board for out-of-state applications to have a pre-pardon investigation performed. By law, the investigating authority is allowed 70 days to complete the investigation. The investigator will verify all information submitted in the application and then compile a report and submit it to the Office of the General Counsel for the Parole Board.
The application is then placed on the next available docket for the Board to hear the request for Pardon. An applicant may choose to appear before the Board and speak on his/her behalf. They may bring with them a representative. Only one person will be allowed to speak to the Board regarding the reasons for needing the Pardon. The speaker will be given two (2) minutes to speak to the Board. The Board Members may or may not have questions for the applicant. The Board will not vote immediately after the presentation by the applicant. The applicant may contact the Parole Board Administrative Office the Monday following the Board meeting after 9:00 a.m. to obtain the results. The Board may choose to deny the application or to recommend the pardon to the Governor.
The entire application, along with a Pardon Certificate, will be submitted to the Governor for consideration. The Governor has 90 days to make a final determination regarding Pardon applications. The Governor may choose to deny or grant a pardon.
If a Pardon is granted by the Governor, she will sign a Pardon Certificate and file it with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will receive notification of the Governor’s actions (both approval and denial) and the General Counsel will then send letter communication to the applicants regarding whether they were granted a Pardon (along with a copy of the pardon certificate) or they were denied a Pardon. If an applicant is denied by the Governor she will file a denied certificate with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and communicate to the General Counsel of the Parole Board such denial. The General Counsel will then communicate with the applicant via letter regarding denial.
If an applicant is denied at either stage of the process, they may re-apply in one year from the date of denial. The applicant will need to submit an updated credit report, proof of residence, proof of employment, and character affidavits at the time of re-application.
There are time limits built into statute that must be satisfied such as:
Certified Judgment & Sentence from the County where the conviction was had;