The hearings generally last no more than twenty (20) minutes. They take place in front of a board of individuals appointed by the Governor of South Carolina. The board usually consists of 7 members, however only 5 out of those 7 need to agree to grant you a pardon. The decision is usually given to you immediately after the hearing.
While it is not mandatory that you attend the hearing, it is highly recommended that you do. By appearing in person you will have the opportunity to futher prove the changes you have made since obtaining your criminal record, and articulate to the board why you are deserving of the state's forgiveness. You can explain better than anyone how a pardon could change your life.
If the pardon hearing is not successful, you may apply again after a waiting period of one year.