BOARD OF PARDONS - EXPEDITED REVIEW PROCESS
CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY
Purpose of Expedited Review Process: To identify potentially meritorious candidates who demonstrate minimal criminal history and a consistent period of law-abiding behavior, and who otherwise present a low risk of re-offending and/or danger to the community, such that their applications may be expedited through the normal investigative and review process.
Disclaimer: Eligibility for expedited review is in no way a commitment or guarantee by the Board of Pardons that such applicants will receive a public hearing and/or pardon. The criteria set forth herein reflects general criteria that tend to make applications more meritorious and represents an effort by the Board of Pardons to expedite certain cases in order to address the backlog of applications. Each applicant, regardless of whether the applicant applies through the expedited review process or the regular review process, is evaluated on their individual merits. Denial of a public hearing and/or pardon after an applicant was deemed eligible for the expedited review process does not constitute grounds for reconsideration or early filing.
1. APPLICANT CANNOT HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES. IF THE APPLICANT HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES, THE APPLICANT IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXPEDITED REVIEW PROGRAM AND SHOULD SEEK A PARDON THROUGH THE REGULAR APPLICATION PROCESS.
DISQUALIFYING OFFENSES FOR EXPEDITED REVIEW
Any offense involving unlawful possession or use of a firearm, including but not limited to:
18 Pa. C.S. §912 – Possession of firearm on school property
18 Pa. C.S. §913 – Possession of firearm in court facility
18 Pa. C.S. §6105 – Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer Firearms
18 Pa. C.S. §6108 – Firearms not to be carried on public property in Philadelphia
18 Pa. C.S. §6106 – Firearms not to be carried without a license
18 Pa. C.S. §6110.2 – Possession of firearm with altered manufacturer's number
Any offense under Chapter 25 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Criminal Homicide, 18 Pa. C.S. §§2501-2507
Any offense under Chapter 26 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Crimes Against Unborn Child, 18 Pa. C.S. §§2601-2606
Any offense under Chapter 27 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Assault, 18 Pa. C.S. §§2701-2719
Any offense under Chapter 29 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Kidnapping, 18 Pa. C.S. §§2901-2910
Any offense under Chapter 30 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Human Trafficking, 18 Pa. C.S. §§3011-3017
Any offense under Chapter 31 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Sexual Offenses, 18 Pa. C.S. §§3121-3133, or Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements, 18 Pa. C.S.§§4915.1-4915.2
Arson and related offenses under 18 Pa. C.S. §3301
Causing or risking catastrophe, 18 Pa. C.S. §3302
Ecoterrorism, 18 Pa. C.S. §3311
Burglary of residence/person present, 18 Pa. C.S. 3502(a)(1)
Any offense under Chapter 37 of the PA Crimes Code relating to Robbery, 18 Pa. C.S. §§3701-3702
Incest of a minor, 18 Pa. C.S. §4302(b)
Concealing death of Child, 18 Pa. C.S. §4303
Endangering the Welfare of Children, 18 Pa. C.S. §4304
Dealing in Infant Children, 18 Pa. C.S. §4305
Threats in official or political matters, graded as a felony, 18 Pa. C.S. §4702
Any offense under Chapter 49B of the PA Crimes Code relating to Victim and Witness Intimidation, 18 Pa. C.S. §§4952-4958
Disarming law enforcement officer, 18 Pa. C.S. §5104.1
Escape, graded as a felony, 18 Pa. C.S. §5121
Controlled substance contraband to confined persons prohibited, 18 Pa. C.S. §5123(a)
Abuse of Corpse, 18 Pa. C.S. §5510
Cruelty to Animals, graded as a misdemeanor, 18 Pa. C.S. §5511
Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, 18 Pa. C.S. §5534
Animal Fighting, 18 Pa. C.S. §5543
Torture or Killing of Police Animals, 18 Pa. C.S. §§5548(b), (b.1)
Promoting Prostitution of Minor, 18 Pa. C.S. §5902(b.1)
Obscene and other sexual materials and performances where victim is a minor and graded as a felony, 18 Pa. C.S. §§5903(a), (a.1)
Corruption of Minors, 18 Pa. C.S. §6301
Sexual Abuse of Children, 18 Pa. C.S. §6312
Unlawful Contact with minor, 18 Pa. C.S. §6318
Solicitation of Minors to traffic drugs, 18 Pa. C.S. §6319
Sexual exploitation of children, 18 Pa. C.S. §6320
Invasion of privacy, 18 Pa. C.S. §7507.1
Homicide by Vehicle, 75 Pa. C.S. §3732
Aggravated Assault by Vehicle, 75 Pa. C.S. §3732.1
Fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, graded as a felony, 75 Pa. C.S. §§3733(a), (a.2(2))
Homicide by vehicle while DUI, 75 Pa. C.S. §3735
Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, 75 Pa. C.S. §3735.1
Accidents involving death or personal injury, graded as a felony, 75 Pa. C.S. §3742
Accidents involving death or personal injury while not personally licensed, graded as a felony, 75 Pa. C.S. §3742.1
Administration, dispensing, delivery, gift or prescription of a controlled substance by a practitioner, 35 P.S. 780-113(14)
Criminal Attempt, criminal conspiracy or criminal solicitation to commit any of the crimes listed above.
2. IF THE APPLICANT HAS NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE ABOVE-LISTED OFFENSES, AND HAS NO PENDING CHARGES, THE APPLICANT MAY SEEK A PARDON THROUGH THE EXPEDITED REVIEW PROCESS AS FOLLOWS:
- An applicant is eligible for expedited review after 5 years from the applicant's last contact with the criminal justice system if the applicant meets the following criteria:
- Applicant has only ONE case, for any of the below-listed eligible offenses.
- Eligible offenses:
- Misdemeanor Retail Theft
- Marijuana-related misdemeanor possession offenses, specifically
- 35 P.S. §780-113(16)
- 35 P.S. §780-113(31)
- 35 P.S. §780-113(32)
- An applicant is eligible for expedited review after 10 years from the applicant's last contact with the criminal justice if the applicant has only ONE criminal case.
- If the applicant has MORE THAN ONE criminal case, the applicant is eligible for expedited review after 15 years from the applicant's last contact with the criminal justice system.
Definitions as used in this section:
- Last contact with the criminal justice system is defined as any of the following:
- Expiration of applicant's maximum sentence (e.g. expiration of incarceration sentence and parole period if any; expiration of probation)
- An arrest –unless the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor or court and are otherwise eligible for expungement under Pennsylvania's Clean Slate Law, 18 Pa. C.S. §9122
- Expiration of a final PFA
- A PFA contempt
- A non-traffic summary citation (e.g. harassment, retail theft, disorderly conduct)
**The 5/10/15 year period is counted from the applicant's last contact with the criminal justice system.
Example #1: If an applicant has maxed out on their sentence but gets a final PFA issued against him or her 3 years later, the required 10 or 15 year time period before the applicant is eligible for the expedited review program begins at the expiration of the PFA.
Example #2: If an applicant has maxed out on his or her sentence but gets a summary retail theft citation 6 years later, the required 10 to 15 year time period begins to run from the date of the citation.
Example #3: If an applicant has maxed out on his or her sentence but gets arrested 9 years later and that arrest is still pending in the courts at the time the applicant would otherwise be eligible to apply for expedited review, the applicant will not be deemed eligible unless and until the charges are dismissed.
- Case is defined as a criminal prosecution resulting from a single criminal act or criminal episode, regardless of how many separate offenses for which the applicant was convicted as part of the single prosecution.
Example #1: If an applicant is arrested once after selling drugs and is convicted as a result of that singular prosecution of possession with intent to distribute, criminal use of a communication device and possession of drug paraphernalia, that singular prosecution counts as one case regardless of the fact that it resulted in a conviction for multiple offenses.
Example #2: If an applicant was arrested on multiple occasions for retail theft on different dates, and is convicted of retail theft for each of those separate criminal acts, each prosecution constitutes a separate case even if the applicant is convicted and sentenced for each on the same day.
3. REVIEW OF ELIGIBILITY BY THE BOP SECRETARY:
- Upon receipt of an application through the expedited review process, the Secretary and/or designated staff will make an initial review to determine if the applicant meets the above-outlined criteria. No application will be forwarded to the Board through the expedited review process unless the applicant meets all of the above-outlined criteria.
- If an applicant meets the above-defined criteria, the Board of Pardons Secretary may still identify applications which the Secretary, in his or her discretion, determines are more appropriately considered through the regular review process.
- In either event, the Secretary and/or designated staff will contact the applicant to notify them that they either do not meet the criteria for the expedited review process, or that the Secretary recommends that the applicant proceed through the regular review process.
- Any applicant who is not eligible or not recommended by the Secretary for expedited review will NOT be required to separately fill out a regular review application. Instead, the Secretary and/or designated staff will treat the expedited application as if it was originally submitted through the regular review process.