what is a pardon?

A pardon is an official act of formal forgiveness for a crime you committed. A pardon makes it possible for you to clear your name and move on with your life. Pardons are granted by the Governor, based on the recommendation of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, following a detailed investigation into every pardon application.

Next, who can get a pardon?

Any person convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania can apply for a pardon; however, getting a favorable recommendation from the Board of Pardons depends on many factors, including (but not limited to):


Your application is critical. You better have all of the required court documents or your application will be rejected without filing. Do you know what a “Bill of Information” or “Indictment” looks like? We do. Why take the risk of messing up something so important? Second Chance Consulting knows how to get your application right the first time.

When the BOP deems a pardon application “filed,” the Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole assigns an agent to your case. This agent conducts an in-depth investigation, which includes interviewing you. Would you attend a job interview without preparing for it? Second Chance Consulting can help you be ready.

After your interview, the agent presents an investigative report to the Board of Pardons at a Merit Review session. These sessions are held quarterly. Applicants who receive at least two “yes” votes (and in some cases three “yes” votes) after Merit Review move forward in the pardon process to a pubic hearing.

Once all parties, including the complainant, victim, and victim’s family, have been notified of the date and time, a public hearing is held in Harrisburg.  The Board of Pardons thoroughly reviews all of your application materials ahead of the hearing. You are given a 15 minute time slot to introduce yourself and answer any questions the Board members ask you. You better be ready! 

After the public hearing, the Board of Pardons votes on each application to decide if a pardon should be recommended to the Governor. A majority of Board members must vote “yes” for a pardon application to proceed to the Governor’s desk. If an applicant receives less than a majority of votes then the application is denied.

With the BOP recommendations in hand, the Governor decides whether or not to grant the pardon. With a pardon in hand, you’re ready to clear your name once and for all! 


Despite attempts to make the pardon process more straightforward, according to a recent report by The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, it takes an average of 3 years from when your application is filed until the Board of Pardons issues a recommendation to the Governor. Why would you risk going it alone on something so important as your pardon? Instead, you can trust Second Chance Consulting to break the daunting pardon process down into manageable pieces and help you achieve the best possible outcome!

what are my chances of success?

Second Chance Consulting, LLC isn’t in the business of making predictions about final outcomes; however, we will be honest from the get-go about whether we think you are a strong candidate. Every criminal record, every person, and every circumstance is different and we are careful to get to know as much as we can about each client so that we can craft a compelling narrative with you. Still, you should know that the statistics are trending in your favor, so why wait any longer to begin your pardon journey with Second Chance?