Any time you are arrested and charged with a crime, a record is created with the police, courts, etc. Once you go to court, you may ultimately be convicted, or the charges may be withdrawn, dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. In any of these situations, you WILL have a criminal record resulting from this experience.
The good news is that there is something that you can do about it, and AAAL can help. Whether it is for seeking employment or just for your peace of mind, clearing a criminal record is something that can have major benefits throughout the rest of your life.
If you were arrested and charged with a crime, it is very likely that you have an arrest record, even if you were not convicted of the crime. To clear your name, you will need to “expunge” or destroy these records. Further, if you were found guilty of some, but not all, of your charges, you can complete a partial expungement to clear the record of any withdrawn, discharged or nolle prossed charges. Finally, if you successfully completed ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) or were convicted only of a Summary Offense, you can also benefit from an expungement. AAAL handles expungements in a timely and effective manner and can get started on clearing your record today!
In Pennsylvania, the only way to clear your record of a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor or higher offense is to seek clemency through the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons in Harrisburg, PA, via a “Pardon” or “Commutation of Sentence”. For those who have completed their entire sentence, the procedure is to apply for a Pardon; for those who are still serving a portion of their sentence, a Commutation of Sentence is required.
The Board makes a discretionary review of a pardon application and then determines whether a hearing will be granted. The Board does not disclose its criteria for granting hearings or pardons but does provide some guidance regarding what is considered in this process: The factors include: For a Pardon:
- Fulfillment of all sentencing requirements, including fines and costs.
- Positive life changes.
- Compelling need for the Pardon.
- Impact on the victim.
- Time elapsed since completion of sentencing requirements.
For a Commutation of Sentence:
- Status of parole.
- Appeals exhausted.
- How much time has been served.
- Status and resolution of misconducts, if any.
- Work record while in custody and completion of programs.
- Impact on the victim.
Contact AAAL to get started on clearing your record today!