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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13880
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I was convicted manslaughter in 2003 with light sentence -

Customer Question

I was convicted for involuntary manslaughter in 2003 with light sentence - 120 days in minimum security prison, 5 months house arrest, 80 hours community services, and 5 years probation. I completed everything. It's 13 years ago and I still have trouble finding a full time job because I am deaf and a criminal background check with it. Can I get a pardon on this to remove it? It's in the state of Pennsylvania and its county court.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

In order to remove a conviction from your record, what you would actually need is to expunge it - a pardon will not do that. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of the toughest states in the nation when it comes to expungement. The law, as it currently reads, only allows for expungement of convictions for summary offenses where one has remained arrest-free for five years, you are 70 years old and have remained arrest-free for ten years or the individual has been dead for three years. Nobody who is 70-years-old or has been dead for three years needs an expungement as their prior indiscretion is not preventing them from obtaining employment in these difficult economic times. That said, I'm not aware of any state that would allow an expungement of such a serious felony conviction.

While you are certainly free to seek a pardon --you can get the application online and no attorney is required to apply -- know that the average processing time to get a decision is now 3 years, so it isn't immediate relief. Also, you should know that pardons are as a general rule, rarely granted. And, even if it is granted, it does not clear your criminal record. You would be able to state that you have since been pardoned for the crime, but it would still show up on a criminal background check and you'd still have to say "yes" to any job application that asks if you've been convicted, unfortunately.

Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars,as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I ain't 70 year old. It's already 13 years since 2003. As for expungement of this felony. Is the involuntary manslaughter considered the minor or serious offense or just felony? I have looked at the five year jail free for minor offense and serious offense for ten years jail free in the state of Pennsylvania. As far as I still ain't satisfied with the answer.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

It's a felony (and a serious felony at that) but that doesn't matter for expungement purposes --Pennsylvania law doesn't allow for expungement of anything above minor misdemeanors. You cannot expunge your record for this offense, I'm sorry to say. I understand not being happy with the law, but I can only tell you what the law is. I can't do anything to change it for you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Was there something I could clarify about my answer or additional information you needed? I understand you may not like what I had to tell you, but I stand by it being correct - Pennsylvania will not allow an expungement for this offense. If there is something else I can help you with, with respect to this matter, please REPLY and let me know. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars as that is the only way experts are paid for our time and information. Thank you!