Can I have a felony drug conviction expunged?
NO, unless you have been dead for 3 years OR are 70 and have stayed out of trouble for the past 10 years. While it may sound ridiculous, those are the only two situations in which a felony can be expunged. Outside of those two exceptions, a judge is not legally permitted to grant an expungement, meaning it is illegal for a judge to grant it. The judge may want to allow an expungement to allow a person to obtain a job or restore a person’s gun rights, but the judge cannot do so. A person with a felony conviction is also legall prohibited from obtaining an Order for Limited Access to seal the record.
Pennsylvania Pardon of Felony Drug Conviction
Instead of an expungement or a sealing of a criminal record, a person with a misdemeanor or felony conviction must first seek a pardon of the conviction from the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. If a person is able to receive a pardon, then the conviction is set aside, and a person’s legal rights are returned. For example, Pennsylvania felony drug conviction prohibits a person from possessing a firearm. If a person receives a pardon, then the lifetime firearm prohibition is removed.
State College criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle has successfully filed pardon requests for clients. If a client obtains a pardon, it removes the conviction. The removal of the conviction restores rights, such as the right to carry a firearm, and it also allows the person to seek an expungement becuase the person is no longer convicted. Pennsylvania law actually entitles a person that receives a pardon to expunge the records. The person must go through the Pennsylvania expungement process.
For more information about cleaning up criminal records in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the State College firm of JD Law via email or at (814) 689-9139.