1. The Need for a Pardon

• What is a Pardon? Am I Eligible?

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The Board of Pardons consists of five members—the Lieutenant Governor, who serves as Chairman, the Attorney General, and three members appointed by the Governor with the approval of the State Senate. The three appointed members include a corrections expert, a crime victims’ representative, and a doctor of medicine, psychiatrist or psychologist. The appointed members serve six-year terms.

Current members of the Board of Pardons are:

  • Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, Chairman
  • Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane
  • Louise B. Williams, Victim Representative - term expires November 30, 2015
  • John P. Williams, M.D., Psychiatrist - term expires November 30, 2019
  • Harris Gubernick, Corrections Expert - term expires November 30, 2017


• How Will a Pardon help Me?

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• Suppose I Have Only Summary Offenses on My Record?


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  • New legislation has amended the existing expungement statute to allow a petition for expungement for any summary offense after the person has been free of arrest for five years following the summary conviction. If a person was convicted of a summary offense, he or she no longer has to go to the state pardon board. Instead, they can directly petition their local county court systems to clean up their criminal records.
  • The most common example of a summary offense is retail theft.
  • Expungement may also be available for persons (i) who have received and completed ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition), (ii) who have been convicted of certain alcohol offenses, or (iii) who are over 70 years old and have had no convictions in the last 10 years.
  • Expungement forms differ from county to county.