Back in grade school, we all heard the warnings that if we misbehaved, we would eventually receive a mark on our “permanent record.” Depending on the kind of child you were, you either shrugged off the threats from your teachers or took heed to their instructions. In those days, the idea of a permanent record wasn't as scary as the thought of having a criminal record - or the adult version of a permanent record - as an adult. And the repercussions warranted from a school do not even slightly parallel the lasting consequences that a conviction on a criminal record entails. Thankfully, Pennsylvania residents who wish to eliminate a felony or misdemeanor conviction from their criminal record are given the opportunity to apply for a pardon.
A pardon is an act of clemency or forgiveness granted by the Governor of Pennsylvania that permits a criminal conviction to be expunged from an individual's record. In order to obtain one, you will have to go through a difficult process, that can only be properly navigated with the assistance of a legal professional. But once a pardon is acquired, the second chance you get to start anew definitely outweighs the tedious process.
As you may know, people convicted of a misdemeanor and especially felony offenses are stripped of certain rights that they were previously entitled to. Criminal convictions have been known to hinder employment and career prospects, deny people the right to government aid programs, make them forfeit their second amendment rights, and restrict access to a variety of other resources they may need. However, when a pardon is acquired and criminal charges are expunged, the rights that a person relinquished as a result of a conviction are restored as if you never committed an offense. Below are some examples of a few of the rights you'll reclaim if you receive a pardon:
More employment and career opportunities
You no longer have to dread background checks and anticipate rejection from certain employers. Employers will have no accessible records of your run-ins with law enforcement or criminal convictions once they are pardoned. And the bar that once prevented you from joining the military, pursuing a career in law enforcement, teaching or acquiring an occupational license will be voided.
Renewed gun ownership rights
The majority of states require gun dealers to conduct background checks before they make a sale. Felons, people convicted of violent crimes, and people convicted of crimes involving a gun are often rejected.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
As you can see, all of the rights that were taken away as a result of a criminal conviction can be restored if you receive a pardon. But in order to successfully be granted one without experiencing any mishaps or setbacks, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help you navigate through these legal processes and assist you in successfully obtaining a pardon. Contact him today to learn how he can help with the Pennsylvania pardon process.