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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23561
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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I am 64 years old I had a felony in 1977

Customer Question

hello I am 64 years old I had a felony for burglary in 1977 im wonderying if I can get this thing expunged..only felony on my record william xxx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's expungement laws are very harsh. Your state will allow summary offenses to be expunged. But with criminal convictions, you must wait until you have been dead for three years (no, I am not kidding)or until after turn 70.
You cannot have had any other convictions within 10 years of your application, except for traffic violation. So in 6 years, you will be finally eligible to remove your conviction from your record.
Until then, you would be eligible to apply to the governor for a Pardon. You can find more information about that here.
http://www.bop.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/board_of_pardons_home/19192
A pardon does not expunge the record, but it does officially forgive the offense. It's a longshot, but it is free, and there is no reason not to go for it.
There is one other thing you could do now, also a longshot, but unlike the pardon it is not free. it would mean retaining a lawyer to assist because the petition would be complicated. That would be to have a lawyer reopen your case and petition for it to be dismissed in the interest of justice.
Judges have the power to dismiss a case under their powers of equity, even if the law won't provide for the dismissal. They are very cautious and sparing in their use of this power, and some will refuse to entertain a petition on these grounds at all. But others will do it to prevent an injustice.
You would need to talk to a lawyer about bringing the motion. He will have to draft it essentially showing why the law under which you were convicted should be ignored in your case. There may be opposition from the DA and from the complainant if he can be reached for comment. So you might want to get some free or low cost consultations to get a sense of how likely this is to work in your jurisdiction before you pay a couple of thousand dollars to a lawyer to try to get this done.
Either way, you could still petition to expunge the offense altogether when you turn 70.
Good luck!