Is there a way to ask the state to pardon my felony?

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2012

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Is there a way to ask the state to pardon my felony?

I was charged with a class 6 felony, possession of marijuana with intent to sell. I recently applied for a job that later offered the position to me but I was denied the offer once they reviewed the background check. Was I fairly denied the offer? I’ve heard that you can’t be discriminated from a job for felony convictions that aren’t work related, is this true? Is there a way I can legally obtain this job offer with my conditions?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The onl way to have the state where you were convicted of the felony that you are writing about is to submit a formal petition to the governor of that state seeking the pardon with a detailed reason for it on approved forms. The vast majority of pardon requests for a conviciton are rejected by the governor based upon my experience in the matters.

You might consult with a criminal defense attorney about trying to get your criminal conviction expunged. If expunged, then for all intents and purposes you would have no felony conviction.

As to job issues, an employer cannot per se discriminate against hiring a person due to his or her prior criminal convictions but such issues always come into play in the final decision to hire a person or not. Whether or not you were unfairly denied the job offer that you are writing about cannot be opined by me based on what you have written in that the actual reasons for the denial have not been set forth by you.

You are correct that one cannot be discriminated against due to prior criminal convictions. However, the reality of the situation is that having an employee with a prior criminal conviction is always a concern for an employer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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