The INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE strives to assist as many persons in need of its services as is practical. If you or a loved one are in need of the type of services we offer, you will need to apply to see if your matter meets the criteria and is selected. The INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE will consider cases that meet the following criteria.
1. Cases where you or a loved one have been arrested or face criminal prosecution in a jurisdiction/state that is not your home state. (including, but not limited to, being accused of a crime or arrested while traveling on vacation or holiday or for work).
2. Cases where you or a loved one have been wrongfully convicted and face jail time or are already in jail. In these cases, additional criteria to be assessed include:
a. A claim of actual innocence: The person seeking our assistance must be in no way responsible for the crime that they were wrongfully convicted of.
b. Post-Conviction Status: The trial proceedings must be completed, and a final judgment of conviction and sentence entered.
3. Cases where you or a loved one have been notified that if you return to a jurisdiction, you will face arrest and/or criminal prosecution. (Including, but not limited to, when you are returning home from work or holiday travel and receive a notice that you are being accused of breaking a law in a country you visited or passed through, and are being summoned to return to face criminal proceedings).
4. For each of the above you must demonstrate that you are of limited financial means or subject to financial hardships – such that you cannot afford to pay in full for the legal representation required. In some jurisdictions, this is called being “indigent.”
5. If you believe that your situation fits the foregoing criteria, then you will need to contact the INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE to apply and see if we can take your case.
6. NOTE: The Review process for requests for representation can take some time (in extreme circumstances several weeks or months or longer). Until you receive a confirmation letter that your case has been selected, and until you sign a retention agreement with INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE, you are not yet our client!
7. Though the INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE can be reached via telephone by friends, family or by affected persons directly to inquire how to apply – applications must be undertaken in writing by either of the following manners:
A) By way of a written letter mailed to:
The International Innocence Initiative
161 N. Clark Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois, USA 60601
Attention: Intake Department
(Or by email to Mail@innocenceinitiative.org)
B) Filling out and submitting the secure online form on this website in full and submitting the same.
C) In cases of Emergency - Calling our Phone at (312) 204-7252 or (800) 496-2950 and selecting Option/Extension 5.
NOTE: We do NOT accept applications in person at our offices!
8. If you choose to send a letter, the letter should briefly but clearly identify the following information:
a. The name of the person who is in need of services and their current location.
b. The name of the family member or other persons authorized to communicate with the INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE for purposes of seeking the services of the INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE and their full contact details.
c. Identification of the citizenship, place of residence of the affected person, as well as the place, jurisdiction and court (if known) in the foreign jurisdiction that is proceeding against the affected person.
d. Briefly summarize the circumstances leading up to the legal problem, arrest, or threat of legal action.
e. Identify any upcoming court dates or response dates.
Upon submission of an application, you may be contacted by the INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE for purposes of setting up either an in-person, telephone, or online meeting to discuss further the details of your case. You may also be contacted in writing to provide clarification or additional details. Neither a meeting nor follow-up correspondence guarantee you will be selected and do not create an attorney-client relationship between yourself and one of the lawyers or law firms affiliated with INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE.
NOTE: YOU DO NOT BECOME A CLIENT UNTIL AND UNLESS YOU RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION LETTER THAT WE CAN HANDLE YOUR MATTER, AND YOU SIGN A RETENTION AGREEMENT WITH ONE OF THE LAWYERS OR LAW FIRMS WHO AGREES TO TAKE YOUR CASE UNDER OUR PROGRAM TERMS!
All determinations will be made in writing, provided to the address which you register and identify when making an application.
The application process is free of any cost to you (except postage for mail, and any telephone or internet charges for using that means to communicate with us).
If your case is selected, and depending on a determination of your financial means or indigency status, upon executing a retention agreement you will be represented either at no cost (ie. The INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE will cover all costs of your representation) or at a significantly reduced rate (ie. The INTERNATIONAL INNOCENCE INITIATIVE will cover a portion of the cost of your representation, but you will also be responsible for covering your proportionate share).
Disclaimer: Please note that contacting the International Innocence Initiative and submitting an application does not constitute legal representation by our organization. The International Innocence Initiative does not agree to represent any applicants until an attorney has contacted the applicant and both the attorney and the applicant have signed a formal retention agreement. During the review process, you may need to pursue remedies on your own in order to meet filing deadlines. Unfortunately, we cannot provide legal advice or assistance until we enter into a formal retention agreement with you.