Can I get my conviction dismissed?
A pardon from the California Governor's Office will be granted to you only if you have led an exemplary life for approximately 10 years following your felony conviction. A pardon is a privilege—not a right—and is definitely not granted to every person who applies. The Governor has 100% complete discretion in deciding who gets a pardon and who does not.
Generally, acquiring a pardon is a product of having lived an exemplary, law-abiding life for a substantial period of time. What is generally considered to be a minimum period is 10 years, and this time will be shortened only in extraordinary circumstances. If your pardon application is based on the ability to establish factual innocence, a period of less than 10 years will be considered.
How do I apply to receive a pardon?
- The first step in most cases is receiving a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is a court order that declares you have been successfully rehabilitated. Upon receiving this certificate, it will automatically be forwarded to the Governor's Office as an automatic application for pardon. The receipt of this application by the Governor's Office does not guarantee pardon will be granted.
- For individuals who are ineligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, they may consider the direct pardon procedure. During this process, an applicant must send several different forms, such as the Application for Executive Clemency.
- While there are no requirements for the Governor to take action with an application for pardon, most applications are forwarded to the Board of Parole Hearings who will conduct a background investigation and present the Governor with a recommendation on whether or not a pardon should be granted. In situations where the applicant has more than one felony on their record, the California Supreme Court must first recommend the pardon before the Governor is able to do so.
Contact California Criminal Defense Attorneys Now
If you would like to learn more about the possibility of applying to receive a pardon, we encourage you to consult with our criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. We can help answer any questions that you may have about pardons and we can even discuss all of your legal options during a free case evaluation.
We serve clients throughout Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties. Call Ronald Dinan & Associates as soon as possible to get started with your case!