If you are convicted of a felony offense in California, the only way to truly get it removed from your record and all your rights as a citizen reinstated (firearm, voting), is through a Gubernatorial Pardon. As you might imagine, requesting the Governor of the State of California to Pardon you for an offense is a considerable undertaking. However, former Governor Jerry Brown was relatively generous about granting Pardons to deserving individuals and current California Governor Gavin Newsom seems like he will carry on that legacy.
In 2018 Will Bruzzo and the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo represented M. Vasquez (not client’s real name) on a Pardon Application and the client received a Gubernatorial Pardon from the Governor of the State of California for felony Drug Offenses that had occurred 24 years previous. The specific offenses were: Transportation of a Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code Section 11352 and Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code Section 11378. The Client was sentenced to local jail.
At the time of the offense and for sometime thereafter, the client had been subject to domestic violence and may have been drawn into committing the crime by the abusive spouse. However, the most compelling argument for causing a Pardon to be granted in Counsel’s opinion was the client’s impressive work history after the conviction. Not only did the Client work steadily after being released from jail, the client started several businesses which did very well and sold them for a profit before launching into yet another successful career in a different field. Notably, the client was a single parent raising two children without help after leaving the abusive spouse. The children went on to college and other worthwhile endeavors.
Gubernatorial Pardons are in keeping with Western Culture’s pervading belief that we can redeem ourselves even after the most deplorable conduct. Pardons are especially pertinent today because the information age within which we live, can cause our criminal history information to be generally known and may lead to loss of employment, difficulty finding employment and at a minimum, embarrassment.
The procedure for Applying for a Pardon is to first find a competent lawyer. Will Bruzzo and the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo has helped many clients navigate the Pardon Application process. Pardon Applications are governed by Penal Code Section 4852.01 and sequential. While the code permits an individual to apply for a Pardon as early as 7 years after being released from custody or probation/parole is terminated (whichever is earlier) the Department of Corrections will often not even consider an application until 10 years has passed. For individuals who live within the state of California a Certificate of Rehabilitation must first be filed with the court of the County within which the individual currently resides regardless of where the conviction occurred. Once a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted by the local court it becomes an automatic Pardon Application and is sent from the Court to the Governor’s Office of Legal Affairs. If the individual lives outside the state but committed a crime in California, then they are not eligible to file a Certificate of Rehabilitation and must go directly to a Gubernatorial Pardon. Contact the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo at (714) 547-4636 for a free consultation to determine if you are eligible for a Pardon.