Effects of a Pardon

Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. LSC Funded


Many professions require licenses. The licensing agency for each profession operates under different laws and policies. Some agencies will not issue you a license even if you are pardoned, some will consider you only if you  receive a pardon, and others do not require a pardon.
If you are considering applying for a Pardon in order to obtain a particular type of employment or a license, you should first check with the employer or licensing entity to see if it would be helpful to do so.

Even if you receive a pardon, you must still answer “Yes” if asked if you have been convicted of a felony or  misdemeanor on an employment application. You can add however, that you have been pardoned. A pardon does  not remove the conviction from your record.

To be eligible for a liquor license, you must be pardoned on ALL felonies (Oklahoma, other states and Federal). You  must also be pardoned on all alcohol-related Municipal Court misdemeanor convictions from Oklahoma and any other state. Your spouse, partner, partner’s spouse, employees, corporate officers, and directors cannot legally obtain a liquor license if you have not been pardoned.



If you receive a Pardon you will be allowed to register to vote.  However, without a Pardon you are only eligible to vote after a period equal to the length of your sentence.  For example, if you were convicted and given a two-year sentence on January 1, 2000, you cannot vote until January 1, 2002.  For more information contact the State Election Board at (405) 521-2391.



A felony conviction does not prevent you from owning property, with one exception.  A person convicted of Murder First Degree, Murder Second Degree, or Manslaughter First Degree cannot inherit property from the victim nor receive proceeds from the victim’s insurance.  A pardon will not change this.



Any person who has previously been convicted of a nonviolent felony in any court of this state, and who has received a full and complete pardon from the proper authority and has not been convicted of any other felony offense which has not been pardoned, shall have restored the right to possess any firearm or other weapon prohibited by subsection A of this section, the right to apply for and carry a concealed handgun pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act and the right to perform the duties of a peace officer, gunsmith, or for firearms repair, pursuant to 21 O.S. § 1283(B).  However, it is not possible for a person convicted of a violent felony to possess a firearm, even with a pardon, pursuant to 21 O.S. Supp. 2000, § 1283(A).


There may be Federal laws that apply to you.  For more information contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20226, (202) ­927-­8700.  There may be other State requirements for states other than Oklahoma.  For state specific information contact that state.



A Pardon does not remove the responsibilities created under Title 57 O.S. § 584.  Even if granted a Pardon you will continue to be required to register according to State law.



A Pardon will not prevent prior convictions from being considered if you are later convicted of a felony.  Your previous record may be used in the sentencing process even if the offense has been pardoned.



A Pardon has little direct effect under Oklahoma law.  However, it can be useful in helping you to present yourself as a responsible citizen.  A Pardon serves as recognition that you have adjusted well to society since completing your sentence.

Last Review and Update: Mar 21, 2013

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