Recordgone, a division of the Higbee and Associates, is adding a California Pardon service to our suite of California post-conviction relief services! Experts in the field of expungements, record sealings, and Certificates of Rehabilitation, Recordgone is pleased to be adding this service to assist even more reformed individuals with a California record.
California offers two routes for receiving a gubernatorial pardon: the Certificate of Rehabilitation and the Direct Pardon. The Certificate of Rehabilitation, if granted, automatically generates an application for a pardon from the governor, but there are certain requirements that must be met before an individual may apply for the Certificate of Rehabilitation. For those the who do not qualify for the Certificate of Rehabilitation, they may apply for the Direct Pardon.
What Does a Pardon Do?
A pardon granted either through direct application or through the Certificate of Rehabilitation will confer many of the same benefits. A pardon can:
- Restore lost Second Amendment Rights (except for certain felonies involving a dangerous weapon);
- Reinstate one’s ability to serve on a jury;
- Relieve certain individuals from their duty to register;
- Improve their job prospects and ability to receive a license from a state licensing board;
- Provide the recipient with official recognition of their efforts at rehabilitation and reform.
A pardon does not expunge or otherwise remove the conviction from the record, nor allow someone to deny its existence. For those seeking expungement information please visit our page on California expungements here.
Is the Direct Pardon for Me?
The Direct Pardon is for those who do not qualify for the applying for a pardon through the Certificate of Rehabilitation path. This includes people who:
- Have California conviction, but reside outside the state;
- Have a misdemeanor conviction that is causing a loss of rights;
- Have a conviction for a sex offense not eligible for California’s other forms of relief.
The Direct Pardon is not applied for instead of the Certificate of Rehabilitation. If you are eligible for the Certificate form of relief, then you must pursue that path to obtain a pardon. More information on applying for the Certificate of Rehabilitation can be found “>here.
Even those who already have an expungement may need a pardon if they are still experiencing a loss of civil rights. An expungement on its own does not restore gun rights, and for certain misdemeanor offenses, the pardon is the only way to fully restore those rights.
What is the Pardon Process?
The process, which is what our firm can assist you with, includes preparing and filing paperwork demonstrating your deservingness for a pardon. Pardons are considered an extraordinary form of relief, and while Gov. Brown has been relatively generous with his pardon pen, your application for a pardon needs to be of the highest quality. Our attorneys can help achieve that.
A pardon application requires:
- The pardon application form properly and accurately completed, including disclosure of any other offenses and a description of the offense for which the applicant is seeking a pardon for.
- A demonstration of rehabilitation since the conviction. This can include documentation of counseling sessions, therapy, or some other form of treatment that would help prevent the applicant from reoffending. The applicant would also want to include documentation from any community service work. Character reference letters from those who know the applicant well and can speak to their law abiding character factor into this category as well. Generally three letters from those not related to the applicant are sufficient.
- A reason for requesting the pardon. Being able demonstrate a reason for the pardon will increase your chances for success. Do you need it to open up job opportunities? Will a pardon help you achieve your education goals? Being able to answer this question is important in crafting a strong pardon application.
- Notice to the prosecuting attorney for the case a pardon is being sought for.
As a general prerequisite, 10 crime free years must pass since the date of probation or parole discharge for the most recent conviction. While there are exceptions to this rule, it is unlikely a pardon will be successful if that prerequisite is not met. Our expert attorneys will guide you through this process and ensure the review board sees the best side of you.
How Do I Know What I Qualify For?
Contact our office and one of our specialists will assist you in determining what you may qualify for based on your case and your needs. Call 877-573-7273 to speak directly with one of our specialists or you may take a free online eligibility test. Success depends on multiple factors, including who the governor is, how many convictions are on your record, and the amount of time that has passed since the most recent conviction. Governor Brown is entering the twilight of his term and his rate of granting pardons has increased during his final years. Call us today! We provide representation at a flat rate with optional interest free payment plans to fit your financial situation.