You may have heard or read that 2023 is a great year for anyone looking to file a pardon petition. While the Board of Pardons in PA is doing a lot to expedite the pardon process, there has been little done to change the process of obtaining a governor’s pardon in Pennsylvania.
Every applicant looking to remove their criminal convictions or misdemeanors from the books still needs to undergo the process set by the board. Here, we will walk you through the PA pardon process in 2023.
By the end of this article, you’ll know every step in the process.
Step 1: Research Your Record
Before you file a petition, you need to know what’s on your record. It isn’t enough to understand what your charges are. You’ll need other details surrounding your criminal case.
By having your records on hand, you can file a much more thorough petition. Most importantly, you can better understand the charges for which you can be pardoned.
Step 2: Prepare Your Documents for a Pardon in PA
Filing for a pardon involves preparing a comprehensive petition and submitting it to the Governor’s Board of Pardons for review and consideration.
The pardon application is a formal document that provides a detailed account of your criminal history, personal circumstances, and case for receiving a pardon. You must familiarize yourself with the application requirements and instructions provided by the Governor’s Board of Pardons. These instructions outline the specific information and supporting documentation you must include in your petition.
When gathering documents for your petition, you’ll need documents to help prove your commitment to rehabilitation and reformation. These documents can include therapy records, community service, or any evidence that you are trying to better yourself and your circumstances.
Gathering these documents is crucial to the success of your pardon petition. To collate them in such a way that convinces the Board of Pardons in PA of your efforts towards self-development, you’ll need help.
Step 3: Seek Legal Guidance From a Criminal Defense Lawyer or a Pardon Lawyer in PA
It is possible to complete the pardon application process independently. Nevertheless, seeking legal assistance from experienced professionals can significantly enhance your chances of success.
Attorneys or organizations specializing in pardons and expungements — like us at Record Eraser — can guide you through the application process. We can also help you navigate the legal intricacies, ensure accurate completion of the paperwork, and offer valuable insights.
At Record Eraser, we’ve helped countless pardon and expungement applicants. Using our expertise and familiarity with the Board’s expectations, we’ve enabled clients to clean their records and get them closer to a better future free from job rejections and mortgage denials.
Step 4: File Your Pardon Petition
Once your pardon application is complete, we will review it further to minimize errors. We’ll then submit it to the Governor’s Board of Pardons.
Keep records of your submission and ensure that you receive confirmation of receipt. This will provide you with peace of mind and serve as documentation of your active participation in the pardon process.
Once you’ve filed your petition, the Governor’s Board of Pardons will investigate your record. The Board will assign an agent to your case and verify your application’s veracity or accuracy.
The time it takes for a petition to be processed can vary. Traditionally, the process took roughly two years. However, the PA Board of Pardons has been hiring more staff and bulking up its online infrastructure to expedite the process. Now, we can expect the petition and review process to be shorter.
Step 5: Governor’s Board of Pardon Reviews Your Petition
After submitting your pardon application, it enters the review process by the Governor’s Board of Pardons. This stage thoroughly examines your criminal history, personal circumstances, and rehabilitation efforts. The board members devote considerable time and effort to review and research each application to ensure fair and just consideration.
Board of Pardons PA Review Process
During the review process, the board members conduct extensive research and investigation to verify the accuracy of the information provided in your pardon application. This may involve scrutinizing court records, consulting probation, and parole offices, and obtaining any other relevant documents of your case. The purpose is to thoroughly examine all aspects of your criminal history and rehabilitation efforts.
Examination of Your Rehabilitation Efforts
The board members place great emphasis on your rehabilitation efforts since your convictions. They evaluate the steps you have taken to make positive changes, such as participating in educational programs, completing rehabilitation courses, maintaining steady employment, and contributing to the community.
The Governor’s Board of Pardons will also seek evidence demonstrating your commitment to personal growth. Providing evidence of your rehabilitation efforts — such as certificates of completion, letters of recommendation, and employment records — can significantly strengthen your case.
If your pardon application progresses through the initial review stage, you may be invited to a public presentation. This is a critical opportunity for you to present your case directly to the board members.
Be prepared and articulate during this presentation. The board members will ask questions to evaluate your commitment to personal growth and understanding of past actions’ consequences. Your goal is to prove your dedication to complete rehabilitation and self-development.
Step 6: Board Deliberations and Votes
After thorough deliberation, the board members cast their votes on whether to recommend a pardon. The goal is to achieve a majority vote of at least three of the five board members.
If your application receives the necessary votes for a recommendation, it moves forward in the pardon process, increasing the likelihood of obtaining a pardon from the governor.
Step 7: Wait for a Notification From the Governor’s Board of Pardons
Following the board’s decision, you will be notified of the recommendation made regarding your application. If your application is recommended for a pardon, it signifies a significant milestone in the process. This notification instills hope and serves as an acknowledgment of the progress you have made in your journey toward record clearance.
Step 8: When you get the Pardon, File an Expungement
An Expungement is what actually clears the criminal record from the database after you receive the Pardon. Then your record is erased!
Erase Your Record With Confidence by Clicking “Research My Record”
A fresh start awaits you when you undergo the PA pardon process. However, you’ll need help. That’s where we come in.
At Record Eraser, we believe that you deserve a fresh start. Tell us your story, and erase your record with confidence!