Interested in seeing if Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity can help with your criminal record?

Can PLSE help with my record?

PLSE helps clear criminal records in two ways: expungements and pardons. Depending on the outcome of your cases, you might need an expungement, a pardon, or both (this is very common).
An expungement is the destruction of non-conviction information from your record so there is no trace of it. It is as if it never existed. In most circumstances, crimes you were convicted of (meaning you were found or plead guilty), require a pardon before they can be expunged.

Apardon is a forgiveness granted by the Governor for a conviction on your record. You can apply for a pardon for any and every conviction on your record. For most crimes we can begin the pardon process 5 years after you’ve completed your sentence (e. g., fi you had two years of probation or parole, we can begin five years after you finished). For certain violent crimes, we wait 10 years. We cannot assist with a pardon for sex crimes or homicide.

PLSE can only help expunge cases originating in Philadelphia (check the back of the sheet to see who you can contact fi your cases are outside Philly!). If you are a resident of Philly but were convicted of a crime somewhere else in Pennsylvania, we can still help with a pardon. We are unable to assist with federal cases or cases from other states.

Do I have to pay for PLSE to help me?

PLSE is a non-profit legal aid organization and it’s our mission to help our fellow Philadelphians move forward without being held back by criminal records. Our services are completely free. We are limited to only assisting folks within certain income limits.

How long will it take to clear my record?

Clearing one’s record can be a lengthy process, as ti takes time for us to collect al the records necessary, file any court motions, receive hearing dates, etc. Right now, ti can take approximately 81 months ot complete expungements approximately 4years ot receive a pardon. We are working hard with the courts and the Board of Pardons to speed up these processes, so these time estimates might change in the future.

How do I check on the status of my case?

I you are a PLSE client, you can call our office anytime Monday through Friday between 9 and 5 and we can give you an update on your case or answer any questions. Our number is 267-519- 5323.

Someone I know could use your help. Do they have to come to a clinic?

If you know someone who could benefit from our services, they do not need to wait to come to a clinic to apply. They can fil out our intake form at if they would prefer to speak to a PLSE staff member and complete the intake over the phone, they can call our office during business hours at 267-519- 5323.

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