Expungements in Perry County, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law allows certain charges or convictions to be expunged so they are no longer viewable to the general public. Expunging your prior criminal charges or convictions allows you to apply for jobs and housing without disclosing information about the charges you had expunged.
What is Eligible for Expungement in Pennsylvania?
Anyone who was arrested for a crime, but not subsequently convicted of the crime, is eligible to apply for expungement. That includes situations when:
The defendant was found not guilty;
The charges were dismissed, suspended, or abandoned;
There was no case disposition within 18 months of the arrest, and there are no court actions currently pending;
Other situations that would allow someone with a criminal record to apply for an expungement include:
A court order is in place requiring non-conviction data to be expunged;
An individual has been granted a pardon;
An individual has reached 70 years of age and has not been arrested or charged for at least ten years following his or her final release from supervision or confinement;
An individual has a summary conviction and has been free from arrest or conviction for at least five years;
Charges were handled through the juvenile justice system;
Charges involved underage possession or consumption of alcohol;
An individual has been dead for three years.
This is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances eligible to apply for expungements in Pennsylvania. In most of these circumstances, the District Attorney will have an opportunity to object to the expungement request, and the Court will have discretion as to whether to grant or deny the expungement request. A Pennsylvania expungement lawyer will evaluate your situation and determine if you qualify for an expungement during your initial consultation. If your charge does not qualify for expungement, a pardon application may be required before your expungement can be considered.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for the Expungement Process?
The expungement process involves the filing of a Petition for Expungement with the county court where your arrest and conviction occurred. An expungement attorney can prepare the petition and attach relevant details about your case, pay the filing fee, and attach a copy of your current Pennsylvania State Criminal History report.
After your attorney files the petition, the district attorney has sixty days to file a concurrence to the petition, to file an objection, or to take no action.
Next, the court will schedule a hearing to consider your petition. Alternatively, the court can issue its order on the petition without a hearing.
If your expungement petition is granted, we will obtain another copy of your Pennsylvania State Criminal History report to verify that the conviction information was appropriately removed from your record.
How to Get a Pardon for a Felony
A pardon is an act of clemency and operates to forgive your criminal conviction or charges. Many charges and convictions are ineligible for expungement. An alternative avenue for eliminating unwanted criminal records from your background check is obtaining a pardon, which allows you to subsequently seek expungement of your records. A pardon request is referred to as a clemency petition.
Most pardons granted by the Governor involve low-level, misdemeanor offenses. You may be wondering, How can I get a pardon for a felony?
Fortunately, the process is exactly the same for both misdemeanors and felonies. Unlike expungements, pardons can be requested by anyone, regardless of the crime they committed.
Pardon Process in Pennsylvania
A state pardon is granted by the Governor of the state.
The pardon process begins by completing a pardon application and sending it to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. A Pennsylvania pardon attorney can assist you in completing your pardon application by gathering required records and documentation.
After receipt of your pardon application, the Board of Pardons initiates an investigation into the facts surrounding your conviction and conducts an in-person or telephonic interview.
Next, the Board of Pardons conducts a “merit review” to consider factors of your conviction, including:
The amount of time that has elapsed since since your crime;
Positive changes in your life since the crime;
Compliance with court requirements;
Impact of the offense on the victim; and
Reasons for requesting the pardon.
Following the merit review, the Board of Pardons votes on whether to approve or deny your application.
If the Board of Pardons approves your pardon application, a public hearing is scheduled. The hearing is your opportunity to present your side of the story to the Board of Pardons. The best pardon lawyer in PA will help highlight your strongest arguments for receiving a pardon both in the pardon application and in your hearing in front of the Board of Pardons.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Pardons determines whether to recommend your pardon application to the Governor. If a majority of the Board members vote to recommend that you receive a pardon, your case will be forwarded to the Governor for a final decision. The Governor makes the final decision of whether to grant or deny a pardon.
If your pardon is granted, you are entitled to seek an expungement through the normal Pennsylvania expungement process. A clemency lawyer in PA can walk you through the process of getting your record expunged after you’ve been pardoned.
Helping People Get a Clean Slate in Pennsylvania
Our pardon and expungement attorney, Tammy Dusharm, has extensive experience helping Pennsylvania residents clear up their past criminal records. Having a criminal record of any kind can have serious ramifications, including a negative impact on your ability to secure housing, employment, hunt or otherwise exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, attend college, obtain professional licensing, or just function without being unfairly judged for your past. If you find yourself in need of an expungement or pardon, do not hesitate to contact our office now to schedule a consultation. We will thoroughly review your situation and help you determine the best way we can be of assistance.
Contact a Perry County, Pennsylvania Expungement Lawyer
Contact the experienced Pennsylvania expungement lawyers at Dusharm Law LLC to discuss your unique situation so we can determine whether a pardon, expungement, limited access order, or some combination of these options would be beneficial for you. Contact us at 717-204-7820 or fill out our online form for more information.