Pardons are always discretionary, as states have a vested interest in wanting their criminal
convictions to stick. The overwhelming majority of applications for pardons get denied, with or without a lawyer. Much depends upon the nature of the offense, the extent of any opposition by the court
, prosecutor and the victim, if any, and his family, how long ago the conviction took place, whether an applicant has had further contact with the law, how productively you've spent your life since your conviction, and how generously the governor sitting in office wishes to exercise his pardon power.
In Wisconsin, if your pardon is denied, you can reapply 18 months after the date of the denial. You can do this with or without a lawyer, so if you've already got copies of what was submitted last time, you can update what's necessary simply add what was prepared with fresh recommendations. There's no magic formula, except that, so long as you stay out of trouble with the law, time is on your side.
You would need to apply to Wisconsin's Pardon Advisory Board. You can find their contact information here.
Edited by FranL on 12/2/2010 at 12:11 AM EST