What is a Pardon?

A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime that allows you to clear your criminal record. The Governor of Illinois is vested by the State Constitution with the power to pardon, or to forgive your crime. Procedures for applying for pardons in the State of Illinois are governed by 730 ILCS 5/3-3-13 and Illinois Administrative Code section 1610.180.  The term "clemency" is sometimes used to describe pardon.  Basically, a pardon completely wipes out the conviction and you get back all of your rights, as if you were never convicted.

What are the Different Types of Pardons?
  1. An Absolute Pardon forgives all of the consequences of the conviction.
  2. A Partial Pardon only restores some of your rights.
  3. A Commutation is where your prison sentence is shortened.
  4. A Reprieve is the delaying of a sentence for a period of time. It usually means that a death sentence is put on hold.
Who Qualifies for a Pardon?

Most of the time, pardon is the only way to remove something from your record if you have a felony.  Felony Probation is considered a felony conviction.  You cannot expunge or seal felony probation.  There are only a few first-time drug offenses that can be expunged.  Some first-time Class 4 felony drug offenses can be expunged and sealed.  So the only way to remove a felony from your criminal record is to obtain a pardon.

How do I Apply for a Pardon in Illinois?

The process starts by submitting a Petition for Clemency with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. This petition must include all of the information about your case and provide the reasons why you should be granted a pardon by the Governor.

After you submit your petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board you should request a hearing. While a requesting a hearing is not required, we strongly recommend that our client's request a hearing.  This is your only opportunity to face the members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and explain to them why you should be granted a pardon.

After your hearing, the Board will make a confidential recommendation to the Governor on whether you should be granted a pardon. All you can do is wait for a decision from the Governor.  There is no time limit placed on the Governor to decide your petition.

If you lose and your petition is turned down, you have to wait at least 12 months to file another petition. You are free to file for a pardon as often as you like.

If your pardon is granted you will be allowed to expunge your record, which cleans your record. You will be able to on with your life without the public knowing about your criminal past.

Why Hire The Legal Defenders For My Pardon?

We will fight for you. The Chicago pardon attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., understand the pardon process which will substantially improve your chance of getting a pardon.

The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., have learned from years of experience that a well prepared and presented case is essential to success.

We want the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to understand that you are a good person that has already paid for your past mistakes.

It is important that your petition be prepared in the proper way so that the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and the Governor understand that you deserve a pardon and that you have lived a good and productive life since your conviction. A properly prepared Petition is often the difference between winning and losing.

The Chicago pardon attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., will prepare your petition and represent you at your hearing before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

We will fight for you and will present your case in such a way that gives you the best chance of getting your pardon granted.