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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Son was arrested for handgun theft, Felony charge, how to expunge?

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My son was 20 when arrested for handgun theft. Felony charge and served 6 months. He's now 38 and this felony is interfering with getting a decent job. Is there anyway to have this expunged from his record after 18 years? Felony was in PA, but now lives in TX
Hello friend. My name is ***** ***** welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am sorry for your son's situation. Can you please tell me if since then, has he had any other criminal history, or not?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No he hasn't had any other convictions

Thank you.
First of all, since this matter occurred in PA, then this is where he would have to deal with this issue. Generally speaking, if there has been a conviction, then one is not allowed to expunge the record unless the conviction is for an alcohol offense (such as transport of an open contained). 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9122 - here. Furthermore, he can petition at age 70 to expunge, but, that of course is not an immediate solution.
However, it is possible to first get a PARDON from the state, but there is no guarantee. A party in his situation may wish to file for what is known as a pardon. Essentially, the PA Board of Pardons may pardon his conviction. See here, and see how to file on the left menu.
Now, there is no right for a pardon - it is at the state's discretion. The good news is that while many are denied, because he was young and it has been some time since the matter and he has kept a clear record, this is a better chance than most.
Once this is done, and if the conviction is pardoned, then he may possibly have it expunged. While it is by no means a sure thing, it is really the only path he currently has. I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If this pardon and/or expungement were to happen, is he obligated to answer yes on job applications to the question, Have you ever been convicted of a felony?"

Hello friend,
If he receives the pardon, then the conviction is "forgiven" but it is still on his record.
So once/if he receives the pardon, he would need to EXPUNGE it. It is a two step process: (1) pardon, and (2) expungement.
If so, then by expunging it, it would be off his record and he would also earn the right to state "no" on any such job application, and, this would be confirmed since his record would then not reflect the conviction.
Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for your answers.

You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
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