Understanding Expungement In Pennsylvania

"How can I get my record expunged?"

This is one of the most frequently asked questions our former clients ask about their past criminal records. Unfortunately, by statute, the answer is usually, "Well...you can't." In Pennsylvania, expungements are governed by Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 9122 and generally are only permitted when:

  • Someone reaches the age of 70 and has been free from arrest or prosecution for 10 years from final release from confinement or supervision, or
  • Someone has been dead for three years

Both of these scenarios help very few people that are actively seeking to restore their lives by gaining good employment, applying for scholarships or school, or just generally wishing to move one with their lives.

An Alternative To Expungment For Pennsylvania Residents

Fortunately, there is an alternative. In Pennsylvania, one may apply for a governor's pardon by filing an application with the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. The board will review the application and make a determination as to whether a hearing will be granted on it. If approved, a hearing is held where the individual's case is reviewed. After the hearing, the board will vote whether or not to recommend your case for a pardon to the governor.

Once signed by the governor, the pardon acts to "void" any past criminal record. Having experience counsel is essential when applying for the pardon and petitioning the board, as there are strict requirements and deadlines involved. A skilled attorney can also represent you before the board should a hearing be granted.

At Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, we have successfully handled this procedure for many of our clients. Contact one of our lawyers online or by calling 717-827-4074 or 866-765-0706 for help expunging a criminal record.

Learn more about criminal charges in Pennsylvania by visiting our Criminal Law Blog.