The short answer is no. The state’s objection may hurt your case but is not necessarily fatal.

When you file a petition for a pardon or commutation, you must send a copy of the petition to the state’s attorney for the county where your case was held.  Most counties have one or more attorneys who evaluate these petitions.  The state’s attorney will generally assess the gravity of your original offense as well as how closely your version of events matches up with police reports. The state may also consult the victim(s) or their survivors.  While these parties do not have total veto power, the state tends to listen carefully to what they have to say.

Bear in mind that different counties may view different offenses differently. Hence, the exact same facts that leads to an objection in one county may be disregarded by the state’s attorney in another.

Even if the state objects, the Prisoner Review Board, who hears your petition, makes their initial recommendation to the governor who then makes the final decision.  Therefore, it is advisable to have an attorney’s help to present your case in its most favorable light.

 If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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