Oklahoma's Pardon Attorney
Convicted Felons can restore their Civil Rights
Flat Fees, Experienced Attorneys
Michael A. Risley, Attorney
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Governor's Pardon and why do I want one?
A Governor's Pardon is an official statement of forgiveness from the State of Oklahoma, for a crime or crimes. It represents the Governor and the Pardon & Parole Board's opinion that a convicted felon has "paid their dues" for their criminal past, and that they are welcomed back into the full rights of citizenship.
Day to day, a Governor's Pardon can help a convicted felon do the following:
- Erase their criminal record with an expungement
- Own a Firearm (non-violent felonies only)
- Get a job in Law Enforcement
- Get a Concealed Carry License
- Become a Gunsmith or Firearm Repairman
- Get a job in spite of the felony conviction
- Get a Liquor License
- Get nursing and other professional licenses
- Get hazmat and other specialist endorsements on their CDL
- Be a Juror
- Vote in State & Federal Elections
- Hold Public Office
To see if you qualify for a Governor's Pardon, or to ask any questions you have about a Governor's Pardon, speak directly with an attorney.
Does a Pardon restore a convicted felon's right to own a firearm?
Yes, a Governor's Pardon restores the right to own a firearm, along with the right to perform the duties of a peace officer, gunsmith, or firearms repairman.
However, if you were convicted of one of the violent felonies listed below, your gun rights are not restored after a Governor's Pardon.
- felony assault
- felony battery
- assault and battery with a dangerous or deadly weapon;
- aggravated assault and battery on any officer of the law;
- poisoning with intent to kill;
- shooting with intent to kill;
- assault with intent to kill;
- assault with intent to commit a felony;
- assaults while masked or disguised;
- murder in the first degree;
- murder in the second degree;
- manslaughter in the first degree;
- manslaughter in the second degree;
- burglary in the first degree;
- burglary with explosives;
- kidnapping for extortion;
- robbery in the first degree;
- robbery in the second degree;
- armed robbery;
- robbery by two (2) or more persons;
- robbery with dangerous weapon or imitation firearm;
- child abuse;
- wiring any equipment, vehicle or structure with explosives;
- forcible sodomy;
- rape in the first degree;
- rape in the second degree;
- rape by instrumentation;
- lewd or indecent proposition or lewd or indecent act with a child;
- use of a firearm or offensive weapon to commit or attempt to commit a felony;
- pointing firearms;
- inciting to riot;
- arson in the first degree;
- injuring or burning public buildings;
- criminal syndicalism;
- obtaining signature by extortion;
- seizure of a bus, discharging firearm or hurling missile at bus;
- mistreatment of a mental patient; or
- using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon pursuant to 21 O.S. §652;
Speak directly with an attorney to discuss your rights after a violent felony conviction.
What about getting a Concealed Weapon License?
A Pardon restores the right of a convicted felon to apply for a concealed handgun permit under the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.
Again, the conviction must not have been for any of the "violent felonies" listed above, and the applicant meet all other requirements of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.
For help restoring your gun rights, speak directly with an attorney.
How can a Pardon help a convicted felon get a job?
After your receive a Pardon, your criminal record will be updated to show that you have been pardoned, in both the Court records of your case and on your OSBI background check. When employers pull your background, they will immediately see that you have been pardoned of your crimes by the Governor, and they will look on your felony conviction in a much better light. Based on feedback from prior Clients, a pardon is very helpful in obtaining employment after a felony conviction, especially with larger companies and the State.
Also, a Pardon is required for convicted felons to hold licenses required for employment - such as nursing, healthcare, and other professional licenses, hazmat and other specialist endorsements on a commercial driver's license (CDL), among others. For convicted felons who seek employment in fields that require a license, a Pardon is a necessity.
Lastly, a Pardon is a requirement for the expungement of a felony conviction. Expungement erases the crime from your criminal record, and allows you to deny that the crime ever occurred.
To discuss whether or not you qualify for a Pardon and an Expungement, speak directly with an attorney.
What are the requirements to qualify for a Pardon?
- You have been convicted of a violation of Oklahoma law, either a felony or a misdemeanor.
- You have no pending charges.
- You are not currently in jail or prison.
- You have discharged all sentences, or successfully completed parole or a suspended sentence.
- You cannot have been considered or investigated for a pardon within the past year.
How long does a Pardon take?
Altogether the entire process moves at a bureaucratic speed, and can take up to a year.
First, there is the Investigation: after the Application is completed and submitted, the Pardon & Parole Board will then assign a Pardon & Parole Officer to do a home visit with the Applicant and go through the Application with them. The Officer then submits their recommendation to the Pardon & Parole Board. If the Applicant is out of state, the Board will conduct an investigation by phone.
Second is the Pardon & Parole Docket: The Board meets once a month. After submission, it generally takes six to nine months to get on one of the Board's Dockets. At the Docket, the Board will consider the reasons that a person is looking for a Pardon and discuss any concerns they might have with the Applicant. The Board will then make a recommendation to the Governor.
Finally, the Governor's Office: The Governor and their staff will perform a paper-only review of the Application, and make the final decision without any other input. The Governor generally render's their decision with 90 days of the Board recommendation.
Will a Pardon erase a convicted felon's criminal record?
No. A Pardon represents official forgiveness from the Governor and the Pardon & Parole Board for a criminal record, but the record remains. Only an expungement will clear a convicted felon's criminal record.
However, after a pardon is completed, the criminal record will be updated to show that the crime has been pardoned - this update occurs in both the Court records of a case and on a person's OSBI background check. Speak directly with an attorney to discuss expunging your record after a pardon.
Can I apply for a Pardon for only the conviction that matters to me, or do I have to apply on all of them?
You have to apply for a Pardon on all of your convictions. In both misdemeanor and felony cases, a "conviction" can include the following: pleading guilty and just paying a fine without probation, being sentenced to jail time, and getting a suspended sentence (a type of probation), among other things.
Failure to include all convictions in your Pardon application can be grounds for denial, so it is especially important to include your all convictions from your entire criminal record.
What about getting a Liquor License?
A Pardon restores the right of a convicted felon to receive a liquor license, as well. Following the Pardon, you will need to submit a certified copy of your Certificate of Pardon, along with the rest of the Liquor License application and fees.
Speak directly with an attorney to discuss getting your liquor license after a felony conviction.