When you’re found guilty of a crime, that conviction can shadow you for the rest of your life.
Sometimes, the only way to escape that shadow is through an official pardon. In Pennsylvania, these can be difficult to obtain.
Fortunately, a client recently represented by Penglase & Benson appears to be on his way to receiving an official pardon before the state’s governor.
Our client is a man who had been convicted on felony marijuana charges. After his conviction, he worked hard to change his ways and become a contributing member of society. He became active in his church, graduated college at the top of his class and got a full time job.
But no matter what he did, the felony conviction followed him, and kept him from getting a higher paying job.
Penglase and Benson attorney John Benson worked with this client to create an application that got the attention of the state Board of Pardons.
As we’ve said, getting a pardon in Pennsylvania is difficult. Your application to the board must be crafted in such a way that it not only addresses why you deserve a pardon, but also manages to stand out from all other pardon applications.
If a majority of the board finds your application has merit, you’ll get a public hearing before the board, which typically consists of the state lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as a victims’ advocate, a psychologist and a representative of the prison system.
If they feel you’re a worthy candidate, they forward your application and their recommendation along the governor. So far this year, only 10 percent of applicants have been pardoned. That’s down from 23 percent in 2015.
John Benson worked with our client to craft an application that won him a hearing. From there, the board recommended a pardon to the governor. We’re now awaiting a final decision.
If you’re looking for someone to argue your case, contact the firm of Penglase and Benson. You don’t need an attorney to apply for a pardon. But having a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in the process may mean the difference between an application and a successful application.