What is the Hearing Process for a Pardon in Pennsylvania?

In order to get a pardon, an individual's application must advance through several stages of the pardoning process. This process is notorious for being complex and lengthy. Only with the assistance of an attorney will you be able to maximize your chances of successfully obtaining a pardon.

Once a hearing has been scheduled by the Board of Pardons, you have finally gotten towards the end of the pardoning process. Getting to this step means you've been through an investigation, an interview with a state parole agent, and your application has been approved by at least two members of the board.

Telling Your Story

At a hearing, you will finally get the chance to speak for yourself. Board members have relied on their perception of who they think you are to make decisions thus far. Now that you have been granted the chance to tell your story, you will be able to show them who you really are. What you say in a hearing is crucial. Your words could either convince the board to grant you a pardon or on the contrary, cause them to believe that you aren't sincere. Some people who get to this stage get another person to speak in these hearings to affirm that they deserve a pardon and have been on a straight and narrow path since the commission of a crime. But the best way to ensure you move to the next step is to take the advice of an attorney.

The board typically asks applicants questions that gauge if you are sorry for committing a crime and if you are likely to commit a crime again. Questions about other run-ins with law enforcement and convictions on your record (if any) will possibly be posed to you also. A legal professional will be able to ensure that your answers to these questions are consistent with your story and that you include the information you need to convince the board. Most hearings are merely 15 minutes long, which means you won't have time to explain every little detail. An attorney will be able to help you focus on presenting the important information, like the trouble you've had finding a job and making a living due to a conviction, or the inability to move up on a job because of your criminal record.

The Public Vote

After you speak, the board will take a vote based on what they heard; majority rules in these cases. If at least three board members have been convinced that you deserve a pardon, it will be sent to the Pennsylvania Governor. However, if fewer than three board members approve your application, it will be denied. After a denial, an applicant has to wait one year to reapply, while subsequent denials result in a two-year wait to reapply.

Experienced Philadelphia Defense Attorney

As you can see, the pardoning process is complex. If you are contemplating applying for a pardon, you should consult with an attorney who is well-versed in Pennsylvania's pardoning process. Knowledgeable attorneys on our Criminal Law Team are here to help you maximize your chances of obtaining a pardon the first time around. Contact us today to learn how we can help with the Pennsylvania pardon process.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.