Skip to main content

If you have a felony conviction 5 years old for theft can u have it opened and the charge lowered

Kankakee, IL |
Attorney answers 3


No you cannot. The only exception that I can imagine, and it would be a very rare one, is if there were new evidence of a constitutional violation that you could not reasonably have discovered until now. That might perhaps warrant an out-of-time post-conviction petition. But such a petition would be a very, very long shot, very expensive, and with little hope of success. Probably a waste of a lot of money. Your best shot at undoing this is to let a lot of years go by, like maybe twenty, live it down, and then ask the governor for a pardon.


Shy of a statutory available Governer's Pardon you cannot reonen that conviction absent of any manifest errors in the case. Even the Pardon's grant is extremely hard to get and very costly.

DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 101, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602


A five-year old conviction cannot be re-opened. Only if you were still incarcerated based on that conviction would you have the possibility of a habeas corpus petition in federal court alleging violation of a constitutional right. A petition for excecutive clemency/governor's pardon is your only option.