Articles Posted in Governor’s Pardon

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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.

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In a statement on April 18, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he would be granting pardons to 63 individuals. According to Governor Brown, all 63 pardons were granted to former inmates who had completed their sentences and were released from custody more than a decade ago and have not been involved in any further criminal activity.1

jails.jpgMore than 40 of the pardons granted were for convictions on charges of drug offenses. These include possessing, selling or manufacturing controlled substances such as marijuana. Clark William Guest, who was convicted of stealing from his landlord to support his methamphetamine habit, was also one of those pardoned. He had served 60 days in jail as well as five years of probation.

Brown pardoned individuals who had, “lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted themselves as law-abiding citizens.” Many of those pardoned are now active in public service and work closely with nonprofit rehabilitation programs.

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If you have been convicted of a federal crime, there is a chance that your sentence could be shortened or even pardoned by the President of the United States. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the president the power to excuse your federal conviction. This does not apply to any state offenses.

In order to be granted a presidential pardon, you must petition for a pardon and bring it to the attention of the Office of the Pardon Attorney. To do so, you submit an application a minimum of five years after your conviction.

canstockphoto0160792.jpgUnfortunately, presidential pardons are not often granted. Recent presidents have granted the following number of pardons:

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Will I be able to apply for citizenship if the Governor’s Pardon is granted?

An individual who has a prior criminal record and has been convicted of a crime in the State of California may apply for a pardon from Governor Jerry Brown. Only the Governor is capable of granting the honor of a “gubernatorial pardon” to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior following their conviction. Pardons are only granted if there is supplemental evidence proving that you have demonstrated such behavior. Historically, Governors have granted very few pardons; however, obtaining a pardon from Governor Jerry Brown is a distinct accomplishment based upon an active and law-abiding life following your conviction.


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About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.