In Pennsylvania, receiving a pardon from the state is an excellent way to get back on track and move forward in life. But for someone unfamiliar with the process, it can seem overwhelming. Questions like “What disqualifies you from owning a gun in Pennsylvania?” or “What are the application requirements for a pardon?” can be daunting.
Mark of Record Eraser is an experienced pardon and expungement lawyer who has served clients throughout the state since 2013. Recently, Mark gave a comprehensive overview of some common questions about PA pardon services. This article covers the cost of pardon services, how long the pardon process can take, whether you can restore your gun rights, and more.
1. What is the cost for PA pardon services to prepare and track a pardon application?
If you opt to partner with Record Eraser, you can rest assured that our flat rate of $1,850 covers everything involved in the pardon process for a single docket. This includes writing off to the county’s Clerk of Court’s office to request the specific court documents that the pardon board wants to have with your part in the application, as well as photocopying and attaching those documents to the paper application. Then, the application will be tracked for years, and you will be prepped for any hearings or interviews you have along the way.
Additional dockets are up-charged at $200 per docket. This is all quoted ahead of time after reviewing the record.
This fee does not include the expungements that are needed after the pardon is issued.
2. Why does it take two years for the pardon application process?
Another question that a PA pardon attorney like Mark frequently gets is why it takes two years for the pardon application process. This is because millions of PA criminal records need to be cleared, and as more people find out that it’s possible to have their records removed, they all want to get in line and fill out their applications.
This means that once those applications are filed, they need to be reviewed by the Board of Pardons, uploaded online, investigated and prepared for review. There’s a lot to look through, and it can take time for all the applications to get in front of the Governor’s Board of Pardons and receive approval.
3. Has the pardon process in Pennsylvania been getting any faster?
Getting a pardon in PA has been faster than a few years ago. The Board of Pardons has added more staff members. It is soon going online, meaning that paperwork will be uploaded into the portal for review rather than photocopied and attached to paper applications.
However, due to the increasing number of cases, the processing time is still two years, give or take a few months.
4. Why is it so expensive to use PA Pardon Services or a lawyer’s services?
The cost of PA pardon services is to cover the expertise involved in drafting the application, requesting the records, two years of tracking the application, and prepping the client for any hearings or interviews during that time.
5. Should I file the pardon application myself?
If you are comfortable doing so, you can file the pardon application yourself. However, if you choose to do this, it’s essential to ensure that all the correct documents are requested and included. Additionally, when the investigator calls to document your application and ask questions, it is essential that you know what he or she will be asking. You should be prepared to answer any questions that come up. When you are invited to be interviewed by the Board additional preparation will be necessary. If this is too much for you to handle on your own, consider hiring PA pardon attorney or services provider to ensure everything goes smoothly.
6. Why should I pay for your services or do it myself if the outcome is not guaranteed?
The outcome of your application is never guaranteed, and the Board has the right to reject an application if they feel it does not meet their standards. However, filing with a PA pardon attorney or services provider can help you in many ways. The team at Record Eraser has vast experience dealing with applications like yours. We will do everything in our power to make sure that your application is as strong and convincing as possible.
7. Where are the areas where things can go wrong with my pardon application?
The thing about criminal justice is that even the most minor error can result in your application being denied. The more serious your crime gets on the scale of severity from summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies to felonies of the first degree, the more time needs to go by before your application can be considered. Furthermore, you need to ensure that all documents are in order and have a good explanation for what happened in the past that you can present to the Board. If these things are not done right, your application may be rejected.
8. Can I regain my gun rights after my record is cleared through a pardon?
What disqualifies you from owning a gun in Pennsylvania? In Pennsylvania, any misdemeanor or felony conviction will effectively disqualify you from possessing a firearm. This means that if you have a criminal conviction, regardless of what the charge was and what sentence was imposed, you will be unable to possess firearms.
Now, answering the question of whether a pardon (and expungement) can restore your gun rights after your record is cleared, the simple answer is yes. But, it is important to note that if you have convictions in other states or federal convictions, they may still disqualify you from owning a gun in Pennsylvania.
9. Is an expungement required for every pardon?
Before we wrap things up, it’s important to note that an expungement is required for every pardon in the state of Pennsylvania. That means that if you have been pardoned for a misdemeanor or felony conviction, an expungement must be filed with the court of common pleas. This allows the Pennsylvania State Police to clear your criminal history and restore your rights.
Without an expungement, your record will remain on file and could affect your ability to find employment and get housing or other essential services. It is important to remember that gaining a pardon does not automatically expunge your record, and the only way to do so is to file an expungement petition with the court.
The Bottom Line
While it is possible to apply for a pardon in Pennsylvania on your own, there are many ways that the process can go wrong. It is vital to make sure that all of the documents are in order and up-to-date, as well as have an explanation ready for what happened in the past that you can present to the Board. Additionally, an expungement is required for every pardon in the state, and without one, your record will remain on file. For these reasons, consider hiring a PA pardon attorney to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The team at Record Eraser has experience dealing with applications like yours, and we can help you get the most out of the pardon process. With our expertise and resources, we will do everything in our power to make sure your application is as strong and convincing as possible. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!