Executive clemency, or a pardon, is when the Governor of Illinois forgives a person for a crime. This can help a person get a job, find housing, or get a loan.
What types of crimes can be pardoned?
Any conviction in the State of Illinois is eligible for a pardon, no matter what the charges were or when the conviction occurred. But the longer it has been since your last conviction, the stronger chance you have of getting pardoned.
Does getting a pardon clear my criminal record?
No. Getting a pardon does not hide your crime from public view. Anyone who views your criminal record will be able to see that you had a conviction, even though it has been forgiven.
In order to remove the criminal conviction from your record, you have to ask the Governor for a pardon with permission to expunge. If the Governor gives it to you, you can then file a petition to expunge the pardoned offense.
Note: The information above only applies to clemency for state crimes in Illinois. For information on clemency for federal crimes, visit the US Pardon Attorney's website. For information on other states' crimes, visit your state government's website.
Updated: June 2017