McClinton and Williams expungement and pardon clinic served 68

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton and state Sen. Anthony Williams, both D-Phila./Delaware, co-hosted an expungement and pardon clinic on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Cobbs Creek Branch of the Blanche A. Nixon Library.

Local attorneys and staff from the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity provided legal assistance to help qualifying residents clear their record.

The expungement clinic was for criminal charges that occurred in Philadelphia County.

The pardon clinic was for residents of Philadelphia and Delaware counties with misdemeanor or felony convictions.

"A clean record is an important part of the job application process," McClinton said. "It's unfair that an action which may have happened over a decade ago can continue to block the opportunity to hold a quality, family-sustaining job.

"Once people are charged with a crime, the stigma follows them in their police record, often even if they are later exonerated. However, clearing that outdated or incorrect information can be a timely and expensive process but the potential of a cleared record can be worth the time and expense. Events such as this can ensure our neighbors get the clean slate and second chances they deserve."

McClinton said people who may qualify for expungement include:

  • Anyone who had a criminal charge that was dismissed or withdrawn, or was found not guilty after trial.
  • Anyone who pled guilty to a summary offense more than five years ago and has no subsequent criminal charges. Misdemeanor and felony convictions are not eligible.
  • Anyone who was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program and met all terms of the program. 

Those who did not qualify for expungement were given information on the pardon application process.

Local residents who believe they may be eligible for an expungement or would like to apply for a pardon, but were unable to attend the event, are encouraged to contact McClinton’s office at 215-748-6712 for information.