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At Smith, Illner & Gemelas Co. LPA, we know many people convicted of criminal offenses in Ohio often struggle to put their lives back on a better track. In fact, their criminal history can often be the very thing preventing them from doing this as they may be denied a job or a place to live simply because they have been convicted of a crime in the past.

The laws in Ohio have allowed people to apply for a pardon of a criminal offense but, as explained by Cleveland.com, some people wait multiple years for a pardon to be approved. The Governor recently announced the start of a new program, called the Expedited Pardon Project, that aims to make it easier for people to apply for a pardon and reduce the wait time to a matter of months.

People convicted of some non-violent offenses, like perhaps a minor drug possession, and who have completed their incarceration sentence may qualify for the project. They must show cause for the pardon, such as the need to get a job or a professional license. Any fines or restitution owed should have been paid or at least attempted to be paid. Pardon applicant should have no additional offenses on their record for the prior 10 years apart from a minor traffic violation, like a rolling stop.

If you would like to learn more about the Expedited Pardon Project or other means by which you can protect your right to a better future after a criminal conviction, please feel free to visit the defendant’s rights page of our Ohio criminal defense website.