An Illinois man made a mistake during college and was convicted of a drug-related felony. He turned his life around, and became a successful auto mechanic. He is now a loving husband and father, but 15 years later his felony conviction still hangs over him and negatively impacts his life.
He would like to go back to school and become an educator, but his felony conviction prevents him from doing so. Illinois offers the potential for those convicted of felonies to receive a pardon and expungement. What happens after a pardon and expungement? And what is the process of getting one?
How Does the Pardon and Expungement Process Work?
Pardons and expungements are different processes. You may be eligible for an expungement of your criminal record if you were arrested or arrested and charged with a crime but you were never convicted of the crime. Only those who have never been convicted of a crime can apply for expungement.
If you received a conviction of a crime, you may be eligible for sealing. Many misdemeanors and even felony convictions qualify for sealing under Illinois law. Most sex offenses do not qualify for sealing. Some criminal charges can be sealed at any time, and others require a waiting period.
Seeking a Pardon from the Governor of Illinois
All people who have been convicted of crimes in Illinois have a right to seek a pardon from the governor of Illinois. Glasgow & Olsson will submit a petition for pardon on your behalf to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. After you submit your petition, you will have the right to request a hearing. Your lawyer will help you present all of the reasons that the governor should pardon your charges. The Board will make a recommendation to the governor who will make the final decision on whether or not to pardon you.
What are the Results of a Pardon and Expungement in Illinois?
No matter what crime you were convicted of, once the governor grants a pardon, it will be as if your criminal charge and conviction never happened. However, a pardon is simply forgiveness for the crime for which you were convicted. A pardon alone does not erase your criminal history.
If the governor denies your petition for a pardon, you will need to wait a year before you can petition the court for another pardon. If you have significant new evidence in support of your pardon, you may be able to file for another pardon.
An expungement is different from a pardon. If you succeed with your petition for a pardon and expungement after a hearing, a judge will enter an order for expungement. The arrest or conviction in question will destroy your criminal record for almost all purposes. Employers, colleges, and law enforcement officers will not be able to access and see your criminal conviction. Even if they try looking up your record, there will be nothing for them to see. Your criminal record will essentially be destroyed.
Contact Us Today
At Glasgow & Olsson, we help clients successfully petition for pardons and expungements. We will use our proven track record of helping our clients receive pardons for you. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.