If you have been convicted of a felony or a crime that requires you to register as a sex offender, it may seem that there are no options for you to regain your rights. This is often true but there is one option available to some people in this situation: A Governor’s Pardon. If you have been convicted of a crime in the state of California, this could help you restore most of your rights.
In most cases, these pardons are given to people who have served their time and who can provide evidence that they have become well-adjusted, positive members of the community. Keep reading to find out more about who qualifies and how to apply for this or another expungement option.
The Criteria for Qualifying for a Governor’s Pardon
Technically, any person who has been convicted of a crime can apply for a Governor’s pardon. However, the criteria it will be judged on requires that the law as not applied correctly in your conviction, you were wrongfully convicted, or the sentence you were given was not just. These days, the pardon is also sometimes used to grant forgiveness to someone who has shown an extraordinary ability to move on from their criminal past.
For example, a Governor’s Pardon may be approve for a person who has been out of prison for ten years, has a job, lives a “clean” life and is active within the community. If approved, said convict could end up no longer required to register as a sex offender and with the rest of their rights reinstated.
There Are Many Benefits of Being Granted a Governor’s Pardon
Though the process can be tedious, there are many benefits to being approved for a Governor’s Pardon. You will be able to legally own or possess a firearm again, you will have the right to serve on a jury, you will have the right to work as a patrol agent, probation officer, or other government jobs, and, if your conviction was for a sex crime, you will no longer have to register as a sex offender.
Note that the pardon does not actually remove the conviction from your public record. This means that if someone does a background check on you, the conviction will still show up. However, an expungement may remove it from the record so that it does not show up on most background checks. Usually we would suggest an expungement prior to the request for a Governor’s Pardon.
Do You Need Help Applying for a Governor’s Pardon?
You will have the best chance of winning a Governor’s Pardon if you work with an attorney. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell we have the experience you need and are waiting to help you finally clear your good name. Contact us at (949) 585-9055 to get started.