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What is it?
It is a public record showing that the Governor of California has pardoned an applicant who has demonstrated exemplary behavior following their conviction. It restores to the applicant some of the rights of citizenship which were forfeited as a result of the conviction.
Who is eligible to apply?
A person convicted of a felony who has served a sentence in a California state penal institution, was discharged on completion of the sentence or released on parole, and has received a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
What is the application process?
An applicant must first file for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, if the Superior Court issues this court order, then the certificate is forwarded to the Governor’s Office where it serves as both an automatic recommendation and an application to the Governor for a pardon.
How long must you wait before applying?
The required period of time an applicant must wait is ten years after being discharged from probation or parole, during these ten years the applicant must not have any criminal activity.
What does it do?
It allows the applicant to serve on a jury trial, be considered for appointment as a county probation officer or state parole agent, and have the right to bear firearms restored, unless the applicant was convicted for a felony involving the use of a dangerous weapon.
What does it not do?
It does not seal the applicant’s criminal record or expunge the record of conviction. It does not prevent the pardoned offense from being considered as a prior conviction, if the applicant is later convicted of a new offense. It also does not allow the applicant to answer “no record of conviction” in any employment applications. It is important to note that Governor’s Pardon does not necessarily prevent deportation.
Who reviews the application for the Governor’s Pardon?
The Governor’s Office receipt of a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not guarantee that a pardon will be granted. The Governor’s Office first must forward the application to the Board of Parole Hearings, who will then conduct an investigation and make a recommendation whether a pardon should be granted based on the findings of the investigation.
What does the investigation consist of?
It is a background investigation of the applicant, in which the Board of Parole Hearings may contact the District Attorney, the investigating law enforcement agency, and other people with relevant information on the applicant.
What happens after the Governor’s Pardon is granted?
The Governor’s Office will notify the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations so that they may update their records on the applicant. The Governor’s Pardon will then be filed with the Secretary of State and reported to the Legislature as a public record.
If you have any questions about a governor pardon in California, contact San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense