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How soon can I apply for a pardon in Oregon

Eugene, OR |

I plead guilty to a non-violent class A felony yesturday morning. I have never been charged with a felony before. I should have been put in prison for 22 months. If it were not for the mitigating factors I would not have been given a downward departure. The judge and prosicutor were very stern with me but also very fair. I could also tell the prosicutor was understanding of my crime, I feel that with the breaks the prosicutor gave me it would be distasteful to ask for a pardon this soon, but I would not like to be a felon for the rest of my life. I know Governer Kitzhaber is not well known for giving pardons, but I feel he would be very empathetic to my circumstances.

Also what kind of lawyer would I get to start the process of getting a pardon.

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Attorney answers 2


Without knowing what crime you were convicted of committing, what other crimes you have been convicted of in the past, what your sentence was for this case, and other factors, it is impossible to answer your question. There is no specific timeline for applying for a Governor's Pardon, but at a minimum, you should complete your probation, pay all fines and restitution, and stay out of trouble for a minimum of 10 years before applying.

Pardons are granted only in cases of exceptional merit. In order to get yourself the best possible opportunity for a Pardon being granted in your situation, I would suggest you do everything possible to demonstrate that you are completely rehabilitated. This includes addressing whatever underlying problems you had in your life that got you in the situation in the first place, and participating in meaningful self-examination and community service activities. You are welcome to contact us directly for further information about seeking a Governor's Pardon.


I agree with Mr. Cogan's advice. Also, because Oregon pardons are granted rarely and only in cases where a person is clearly rehabilitated, then a request for a pardon for conviction that occurred only a day ago does not seem like it will warrant much if any attention. Also, except for extraordinary circumstances, the Governor will not consider an application for a pardon while you are still serving your sentence.

A better use of your time right now would be: (1) complying with any conditions of your sentence; (2) making sure you don't qualify for judicial expungement (for a Class A felony, you probably will not, but if there's any chance for an expungement, then the pardon will probably not be considered); (3) become involved in public/community service (this is a factor that the governor will consider); (4) bettering your life somehow through special accomplishments, honors, achievements, or awards (again, factors that are considered); (5) paying off any debts you have (another factor); (6) obtain three or four solid character references who are not relatives, know about your crime(s), and are familiar with your current circumstances and activities and asking those people to write letters of recommendation; and (7) getting a job if you don't have one already or pursuing an education, trade, or craft (if these things are affected by your criminal record, this is an additional reason for seeking a pardon).

Here are some links where you can read more about Governor's Pardons in Oregon:

My responses to posts on AVVO are not legal advice, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship. In order to provide true (and reliable) legal advice, an attorney must be able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather the appropriate information. In order for an attorney-client relationship to exist, you and I both have to agree the the terms of such an agreement.