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Pardons

Pardons

Generally, the only way to remove a felony or misdemeanor conviction from your record in Pennsylvania is by receiving a pardon from the Governor.  These convictions cannot be expunged by a court, unless you are over 70 years old and meet other conditions.  You should consider applying for a pardon if your conviction is causing employment difficulties.  The pardon process is long and you are not guaranteed to receive a pardon.  Generally, the Governor is willing to grant pardons for minor offenses.  Additionally, the longer that you have stayed out of trouble, the better chance you have. 

In order to apply for a pardon, you must request an application first.  After receiving the application, you will need to gather several pieces of information and write a several essays describing your conviction, the circumstances surrounding it, and why you are requesting a pardon.  After submitting your application, you will have to wait three to four years before a decision is made.  During that time, representatives from the Board of Pardons may interview you at different times.  CLS offers assistance with each step to clients interested in pursuing the pardon process.

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
Center City Office

1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Community Legal Services
North Philadelphia Law Center

1410 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 am -12:00 pm