January 9, 2015 By Wallin & Klarich

Mark Wahlberg Governor's PardonRecently, actor Mark Wahlberg filed a petition to the governor of Massachusetts to request that he be pardoned for an assault conviction dating to the late 1980s. The crime involved not only a physical attack, but the screaming of obscenities and racial epithets.

In California, an individual can file a petition for a pardon to the governor as well. A gubernatorial pardon is granted to those who have demonstrated “exemplary” behavior following a conviction. If you wish to seek a governor’s pardon in California, contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney to help you right away.

What are the Requirements for a Governor’s Pardon?

You can seek a governor’s pardon if you were convicted in California of a felony or certain specified misdemeanor sex offenses. If you were convicted of crimes in other state courts, you must apply for a governor’s pardon in the state in which you were convicted. If you were convicted of federal crimes, you can apply for a presidential pardon.

The requirements for a governor’s pardon in California include the following:

  • You must have lived a productive and law-abiding life after serving your sentence. Typically, this involves an achievement of some sort: maintaining a steady job, earning a degree, having a happy home life, or any combination of these activities.
  • You must be discharged from probation or parole for at least 10 years without further criminal activity, including any violation of probation, during that period. The 10-year rule is waived in exceptional circumstances. For example, this rule is waived when you can prove you were factually innocent and there are circumstances warranting a specific need for the pardon.

How is a Governor’s Pardon Different than an Expungement? (PC 1203.4)

Governor's Pardon CaliforniaAn expungement of a criminal offense only dismisses the offense on your criminal record. The court can still use the conviction to enhance a sentence for a new crime, such as under California’s “Three Strikes” law.

After an expungement, you do not have certain civil rights restored to you. A governor’s pardon restores those rights, which include the right to serve on a jury, own a firearm, and get a job as a county probation officer or state patrol agent. A governor’s pardon may also end your requirement to register as a sex offender in California for life.

What Wallin & Klarich Can Do For You

If you are seeking a governor’s pardon, call the criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our team of skilled attorneys can help you prepare an application for a governor’s pardon. We have been successfully helping our clients obtain governor’s pardons for over 30 years.

Wallin & Klarich has offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville. We can help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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