Proving Your Innocence And Securing Your Freedom After A Wrongful Conviction
Illinois prisons see thousands of people behind bars for a variety of crimes. Unfortunately, the prison population also includes those who were wrongfully convicted of a crime and now face tough sentences and impacts on every facet of their lives. Whether misconduct, lack of evidence or faulty procedures led to your wrongful conviction, you need an experienced attorney to work with you on your exoneration.
If you or a loved one were wrongfully convicted, our attorneys at the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards can help you fight for your rights and freedom. We have over three decades of experience assisting clients in Chicago and throughout Cook county. Attorney Stephen L. Richards is on the national register of exonerations for at least four of his clients in Illinois.
A Wrongful Conviction Can Impact The Rest Of Your Life
A wrongful conviction doesn’t only impact your freedom. Even after your release from prison, you will have a permanent criminal record that can make it difficult to find and keep employment, housing and certain licenses. If you were wrongfully convicted of a felony, you may lose your right to vote and own firearms.
At the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards, we will help you fight your wrongful conviction to gain back your freedom and chance at a future. We will thoroughly reinvestigate your case, including the circumstances of your arrest and your trial record, including DNA and forensic evidence. Whether we discover prosecutorial misconduct or new evidence and information, we will pursue every pathway possible to exonerate you and clear your name.
Your Next Steps After A Wrongful Conviction
Challenging a wrongful conviction can quickly become complicated and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you achieve a favorable outcome. If you have been wrongfully convicted, our lawyers will meet you with to help determine your next steps.
The key to proving innocence after a wrongful conviction is to find as much evidence as possible to support your claim. There are multiple pathways to exoneration, including a Certificate of Innocence, 21401 petition and pardon and Artisan Clemency if you do not qualify for a 21401 petition. Only individuals not currently in prison can qualify for a 21401 petition to vacate a proceeding.
A Certificate of Innocence is a form of post-conviction relief that can remove the conviction from your criminal record and make a note that you never should have had a record in the first place. It also allows you to sue the state for damages. The Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act allows anyone who has been wrongfully convicted for a felony and sentenced to prison can bring a Petition for Certificate of Innocence. At the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards, our attorneys will help you through every step of the process, including proving your innocence.
Let’s Work Together On Your Exoneration
If the criminal justice system failed you and you were wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit, you still have options to fight back. With over 38 years of experience, our attorneys at the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards have earned a reputation for success in exonerating our innocent clients.