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The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC

Clemency / Pardons

If you were ever convicted of a felony offense in Illinois, you are forever a convicted felon, no matter how many years have passed…unless Governor Quinn pardons you.*

We are a boutique law firm focusing primarily on clearing of criminal records through the expungement/sealing process and Governor’s pardons.

With years of experience, we have extensive knowledge on how to properly prepare and file your petition for pardon. We also know the proper procedure of how to present your petition at your hearing before Governor Quinn’s advisory board, named the Prisoner Review Board. Even if you were not sentenced to prison (for example, you were sentenced to felony probation), the Board will still hear your petition.

We are not a faceless company that will simply sell you already publicly available information and then leave you to figure out the process on your own. Just like you would hire a divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce, we recommend you hire an attorney who focuses on pardons to prepare a petition for pardon/clemency and present your case to the Board.

ILLINOIS PARDON PROCEDURE

1. File your petition for pardon/clemency: If your record is not expungeable or sealable, you must seek a pardon if you want the case cleared from your record, even if you didn’t serve prison or jail time. The petition must be filed with the Governor’s advisory board, the Prisoner Review Board, that includes detailed information about your case and why you are a strong candidate for a Governor’s pardon.

We gather all of the required information, write your entire petition, and then file it with the Board.

2. Hearing before the Board: After your petition is filed, you have the opportunity for a hearing before the Board. We appear at your hearing with you and present your case.

With years of experience before the Board, we know exactly how to present your case and what they do (and do not) want to hear.

3. Board’s recommendation to Governor Quinn: After your hearing, the Prisoner Review Board sends the petition to the Governor, along with their confidential opinion as to whether you should be pardoned. Their opinion is not binding on the Governor.

4. The Governor’s final decision: Your petition is now on Governor Quinn’s desk for his decision on your pardon/clemency. By law, the Governor is not required to make a decision within any period of time; you must simply wait for his decision. You cannot submit another petition unless you have been formally denied. If the Governor grants your pardon with authorization to also expunge the record, you must then file the petition to expunge with the court. If the Governor denies your petition, you can re-file 1-year after denial.

WE ARE OFTEN ASKED: WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF RECEIVING A GOVERNOR’S PARDON?

Your chances of a pardon are as good as the petition you submit. There is no guarantee that your pardon will be granted because the final decision is left up to one person: Governor Quinn. But, we do guarantee that we will prepare a detailed and convincing petition on your behalf.

If a pardon is your only option, then you should petition for one; otherwise, the (felony) conviction is on your record forever.*

The better you present yourself and your petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and the Governor, the better your chances of receiving the pardon.

* Exception: If you were convicted of Class 4 Possession of a Controlled Substance or Prostitution, you may not need a pardon but actually be eligible to expunge or seal your case.

Please visit our blog for more information on pardons/clemency/commutation of sentence.

You can also visit the Prisoner Review Board’s website here for more information.

For more information, please use our “Search” bar and visit our Q&A or blog.

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