Criminal Defense Attorney Amanda Waechter Offers Advice on the Clemency Process in Illinois
With the job market crowded with people seeking employment, individuals with felonies on their records are finding it difficult to secure work. The only available process is to seek clemency, as few felonies in Illinois are expungable or sealable.
If you have a felony conviction on your record from the State of Illinois and want it expunged the procedure is called clemency. Ms. Waechter explains that the clemency process in Illinois begins with first figuring out what exactly is on her client’s criminal record. “This usually involves running an Illinois State Police background check.” says Ms. Waechter. Once she determines that the client’s only recourse is a clemency petition, she begins collecting the necessary information from the court files. Ms. Waechter also works with her client to prepare a written clemency petition which is eventually submitted to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. There is a great deal of information required in the clemency petition, including the client’s life history and the facts surrounding the conviction. Once the petition is written, it is filed with the necessary supporting documents with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Ms. Waechter then represents her client at a hearing held before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board has the responsibility of reading these clemency petitions, holding hearings and then making a confidential recommendation to the governor as to whether or not the petitioner should receive clemency. The final decision regarding clemency rests solely with the governor. The Illinois Prisoner Review Board holds hearings four times a year.
Ms. Waechter explains that once the Prisoner Review Board submits the recommendation to the governor, the petitioner has to wait for the governor to make a decision. “The governor has no time frame in which he must make a decision regarding clemency. He can grant or deny the request immediately or wait years to issue his decision,” says Ms. Waechter.
Amanda Waechter is an attorney with the firm of Brucar & Yetter, P.C. with offices in Wheaton, Rolling Meadows and St. Charles, Illinois. The attorneys at Brucar & Yetter, P.C. focus on criminal defense, appellate work, expungement issues and Secretary of State hearings. More information is available at her free website: www.brucarandyetter.com
Attorney Amanda Waechter is a member of the national attorney network on LawyerCentral.com.
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