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What a Pardon Can Do

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a crime, it may be worth your while to learn about pardons, and what they can do. A pardon is an action of a government figure that mitigates or sets aside the punishment for a criminal offense.

In Illinois, the power of granting a pardon for a crime is vested upon the governor. Under the Illinois Constitution, the "Governor may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses on such terms as he thinks proper."

When the governor grants a pardon, he or she has the authority to set any conditions or restrictions on the pardon that he or she deems appropriate.

The legislature has the power to regulate how a person applies for their pardon. It created the Prison Review Board, which has the responsibility of reviewing and recommending cases for executive clemency on behalf of the governor. The Prison Review Board is comprised of 15 members, all of whom are appointed by the governor and approved by the senate.

What can a pardon do for me?

Receiving a pardon does not necessarily mean that a conviction is expunged or erased, nor does it mean that you have been deemed "not-guilty" of a crime. The purpose of a pardon is to forgive a person for a crime that has been committed. A pardon has these other advantages:

  • It relives you of the legal penalties caused by the conviction.
  • It restores the civil rights that you lost because of your conviction.

Keep in mind that the governor has the right to place any restrictions he or she deems that it is appropriate, considering your circumstances.

In Illinois, a pardon does not restore your gun rights. If you wish to restore your gun rights, you will have to do that through the Illinois State Police.

If you wish to apply for a pardon, while there are no fees for applying, the process is a little more cumbersome than it is in other states.

It is a good idea to seek the advice of a Chicago criminal defense lawyer such as Michael P. Schmiege. Since your chances of getting a pardon depend largely on your individual circumstances, and the quality of your representation, speaking with an experienced criminal attorney can make or break your case.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege to learn more about pardons and expungements in Chicago and all throughout Illinois!

Categories: Pardons
405 N. Wabash Ave., Suite P2C, Chicago, IL 60611
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Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege - Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 53 West Jackson Blvd., #1515 Chicago, IL 60604. View Map
Phone: (312) 626-2400