The Law Office of Robert L. Keates handles and represents clients seeking a Texas State Governor's Pardon by authoring the lengthy motion and legal brief, and submitting the Pardon Application to Texas State. BecauseTexas State Governor's Pardons offer no "oral arguement" in court or testimony, a Texas State Governor's Pardon pardon brief must be writtenextremely well, giving the applicant the best possible chanc to succeed. Also see Presidential Pardons.
Please read below to see whether a Presidential Pardon could work for you,
and then give us a call for a Free Phone Consultation at 512-216-3211.
The most important aspect is that granted pardons are a rare thing. It's entirely up to the discretion of the Governor on whether the pardon is granted or not. On felony pardon applications the main thing they look for when deciding whether to grant a pardon, is whether the person is experiencing economic hardship and trouble finding jobs because of the conviction. Most pardon applications are not granted, but for a conviction, it remains the only way to potentially clear the record of that offense.
A full pardon restores certain citizenship rights forfeited by law as the result of a criminal conviction, such as the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to serve as Executor or Administrator of an estate. It will also remove barriers to some, but not all, types of employment and professional licensing. However, licenses are granted at the discretion of the state licensing boards of each profession, so you may wish to check with a specific agency depending on your career or employer.
A person who is convicted and who receives a full pardon is entitled under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B) to an Expunction of all arrest records relating to the conviction. The arrest is not automatically expunged upon a grant of a full pardon. This can only be accomplished by petitioning a court in the county of conviction.
Lastly, there is no guarantee that filing a Petition for Full Pardon will be accepted by the Governor. The board will consider recommending a full pardon in misdemeanor cases only when exceptional, extreme, and unusual circumstances which prevents the applicant from gaining a livelihood or in the event of loss of civil rights. The office and the Texas Dept of Corrections/Criminal Justice receives many applications for pardons each year, and only a few are selected to receive a pardon. Once the Petition is authored and filed, there is a significant waiting period while the Governor's office reviews and makes a determination on whether to grant the pardon.
WHAT IS CLEMENCY?
The governor has the authority to grant clemency upon the written recommendation of a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Clemency includes full pardons, conditional pardons, pardons based on innocence, commutations of sentence, and emergency medical reprieves. In capital cases, the Board considers applications for commutation of sentence to life in prison and for a reprieve of execution. If the Board recommends clemency in a death penalty case, the governor may grant commutation or reprieve. The governor can also grant a one-time thirty-day reprieve of execution in these cases.
WHAT IS A FULL PARDON?
A full pardon restores certain citizenship rights forfeited by law as the result of a criminal conviction, such as the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to serve as Executor or Administrator of an estate. In Texas, voting rights are automatically restored when one discharges a felony sentence. (See more detailed explanation in the next question, HOW ARE VOTING RIGHTS RESTORED?)
A full pardon will remove barriers to some, but not all, types of employment and professional licensing. However, licenses are granted at the discretion of the state licensing boards of each profession, and it is advisable to contact those boards directly to learn whether a pardon is necessary or sufficient to restore licensing eligibility in a particular field. A pardon will not restore eligibility to become a licensed peace officer in Texas.
A person who is convicted and who receives a full pardon is entitled under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B) to an expunction of all arrest records relating to the conviction. The arrest is not automatically expunged upon a grant of a full pardon. This can only be accomplished by petitioning a court in the county of conviction.
HOW ARE VOTING RIGHTS RESTORED?
In past years, Texas law specified that citizens convicted of a felony offense were ineligible to vote in the State of Texas until two years after full discharge of their sentence.
Effective September 1, 1997, the legislature restored voting rights to felons convicted in Texas once a person fully discharges the felony sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completes a period of probation ordered by any court. See Texas Election Code, 11.002.
Before voting in local, state, or federal elections, a person must meet the minimum qualifications such as being a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age, and mentally competent. A person must register to vote in the county of residence and may obtain further information from the Registrar of Voters Office in that county or from the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office.
Please note that the Texas law does not affect voting rights in other states.
WHAT IS A CONDITIONAL PARDON?
A person with a conditional pardon remains subject to conditions of release. A conditional pardon does not restore civil rights or rights of citizenship, and the governor can revoke the pardon if a person does not comply with the conditions of release.
WHAT IS A PARDON BASED ON INNOCENCE?
A pardon based on actual innocence exonerates an individual of the crime and erases the conviction. In order to consider a pardon for innocence, the Board requires either evidence of actual innocence from at least two trial officials; or the findings of fact and conclusions of law from the district judge in a state habeas action indicating actual innocence.
WHAT IS A COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE?
Commutation of sentence results in a reduction of the sentence to a lesser time period. A commutation can be granted for time served. Commutations of sentence will be granted only upon the written recommendation of a majority of the applicant's trial officials in the county of conviction, stating that the penalty now appears to be excessive, recommending a definite term, based on new information not before the judge or jury at trial, or a statutory change in the penalty.
WHAT IS A REPRIEVE FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL, FAMILY, OR CIVIL COURT PROCEEDINGS?
A reprieve is a delay or temporary suspension of punishment. Offenders who are terminally ill (six months or less to live), totally disabled, require medical treatment not available within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division (TDCJ-CID) System, or who have been denied Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (MRIS) may seek an emergency medical reprieve. Offenders also may seek a reprieve to attend civil court proceedings. As with other forms of clemency, the governor may grant the reprieve upon a written recommendation of a majority of the Board members.
A request for a reprieve for family emergency to attend funerals or to visit critically ill relatives may be made through application to the Clemency Section. However, the more practical alternative, time-wise, is to request a special absence (furlough) from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
APPLICATIONS FOR REPRIEVE OF EXECUTION AND COMMUTATION TO LIFE IN PRISON IN CAPITAL CASES.
In capital cases, the Board considers an application for commutation of sentence to life in prison and for a reprieve of a scheduled execution. If a majority of the Board members make a written recommendation for clemency in a death penalty case, the governor may grant commutation or a reprieve. The length of the reprieve can be 30 days or longer, in increments of 30 days. The governor also has the power to grant a one-time thirty-day reprieve of execution in capital cases.
WHAT IS A POSTHUMOUS PARDON?
A full pardon may be considered for a person who is deceased. The application will be submitted by a person acting on behalf of the deceased individual.