What’s the Difference Between a Pardon and Clemency?

You see the terms pardon and clemency in the news from time to time, but they can be a little confusing. Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, but there are technical differences between the two that drastically affect the people they’re applied to. In our area, either of these is usually the result of a Chicago expungement lawyer’s hard work and negotiation.

What is a Pardon?

A pardon is like a fresh start. It completely overturns a conviction and takes it off of the person’s record. Because a pardon does that, it’s like the crime was never committed at all.

A person who has been pardoned isn’t subjected to any restrictions that other ex-convicts are; he or she won’t have to register, visit a parole officer or state on job applications that they’ve been convicted of a crime.

What is Clemency?

Clemency literally means leniency. It’s a general term for reducing penalties without completely removing a conviction from someone’s record. A good example of clemency is when a governor puts a death penalty on hold and changes a sentence from execution to life in prison; the person is still considered a convict, but the penalty has been significantly lessened.

Are You Eligible for a Pardon or for Clemency?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for who can seek out a pardon or clemency. Every case in every jurisdiction is different, so it’s important that you understand that you may not get what you’re after. If you believe that you might be eligible for a pardon or clemency in the state of Illinois, you’ll need an aggressive attorney in your corner to fight for what’s right.

Call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury at (847)920-4540 or send us a message online. We’ll be happy to review your case and figure out where to go from here.