Direct pardons refer to requests for pardon made directly to the governor, who has total and complete discretion to grant or deny a pardon. The pardon may be granted without further investigation, except that a person twice convicted of felonies must also have the recommendation of a majority of the state Supreme Court to obtain a pardon. Pardons are not granted to every person who applies, and the length of time needed for the completion of the pardon process cannot be predicted.
A direct pardon is usually sought by persons who are not eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation, such as nonresidents and persons convicted of a misdemeanor. Any person who has been convicted in California of a felony or certain misdemeanor sex offenses, may apply to the governor for a pardon. We can handle these applications for pardons in one of two ways: either by way of an application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, or through a direct traditional pardon application.