Overturning Marijuana Convictions in Pennsylvania

Can your marijuana charges be expunged? Can you be pardoned for a marijuana conviction in Pennsylvania?

marijuana pardons in pennsylvaniaThe Pennsylvania Board of Pardons (BOP) recently established an expedited review program for non-violent marijuana-specific convictions, including possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, DUI of medical-marijuana, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (PWID).

While applicants are welcome to apply for a pardon, there are no guarantees every applicant will get the Board’s approval. Some notable exceptions include people who have not yet been convicted and people who have completed the ARD program. There is no time limit for when the marijuana-related conviction occurred.

If you have been charged or convicted of marijuana offenses, contact our Pittsburgh Marijuana Lawyers today – we can help either fight your marijuana/cannabis charges or help you with the process of applying for a pardon. Our attorneys offer free consultations to anyone charged with a drug crime.


Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.

Eligibility for the marijuana expedited review program in Pennsylvania includes the following criminal convictions:

  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana (personal use);
  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute (PWID);
  • Distribution of a small amount of marijuana (not for sale);
  • Paraphernalia-related offenses – marijuana-specific convictions;
  • Criminal conspiracy (marijuana-specific offense);
  • Marijuana-related DUI convictions incurred by lawful medical marijuana cardholders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  • Felony convictions for possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana PWID), and;
  • Marijuana-specific convictions of which the Board of Pardons deems appropriate.

Ineligibility for the marijuana pardon program includes:

  • Anyone not yet convicted of a marijuana-specific offense;
  • Anyone currently enrolled in, or who has completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program;  
  • Anyone actively under court-ordered supervision (i.e., probation or parole). This exception can be waived if you can obtain a letter as support from your probation/parole officer/office. 
  • Anyone who possesses a criminal conviction classified as a violent offense;
  • Anyone who possesses a conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana;
  • Anyone convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana who was not a lawful medical marijuana cardholder in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of the incident;
  • Any prospective applicant who at the time of submission is incarcerated for an offense that is unrelated to the conviction(s) for which they are seeking expedited relief, and;
  • Any individual’s application that the Secretary deems to be unsuitable for expedited review.

See the Pennsylvania Board of Pardon website for additional information or download the application packet here.



Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

If you were charged with marijuana in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.

Learn more about Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

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2016 Pennsylvania Law Allows Expungement of Misdemeanor Offenses

Can You Now Have Your Criminal Record Expunged? 

One of the biggest concerns an individual may have during a criminal prosecution is, “Will this criminal charge be on my record forever?” The answer is usually yes, but there are some exceptions where criminal charges can be cleared from your record and will not show up on things like credit reports or background checks. This process is usually referred to as “expungement“.

Currently, the law in Pennsylvania states that an expungement may only be achieved in connection with a conviction of a summary offense (not a misdemeanor or felony offense). Of course, if the case results in a dismissal or a verdict of not guilty, the offense is eligible for expungement. Any conviction or guilty plea for a misdemeanor or felony offense will remain on your permanent criminal record.

However, a new Pennsylvania Senate Bill introduced in January, 2016 will allow for an ‘Order of Limited Access’ to be issued by the Court of Common Pleas concerning certain non-violent misdemeanor offenses following a post-conviction period of ten years that is arrest free.

Note that an ‘Order for Limited Access’ means that the criminal record information maintained by a criminal justice agency may only be disseminated to another criminal justice agency or governmental agency.

In other words, it is not an ‘expungement’ in that the records are not destroyed. However, the Bill precludes access to other agencies seeking such information (e.g. certain employers, online companies, educational agencies, etc.).

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 166 outlines the following as conditions for eligibility to obtain an ‘Order for Limited Access’ concerning these misdemeanor offenses:

  • The offense at issue must be graded as an M2, M3 or an ungraded Misdemeanor which carries a maximum possible sentence of 2 years;
  • The post-conviction time period is an arrest-free 10 years, and;
  • The offense at issue must be non-violent in nature.

As with many laws, there are certain exceptions. The exceptions for eligibility that have been outlined are as follows:

  • An offense punishable by imprisonment of more than 2 years;
  • An individual who has been convicted of 4 or more offenses punishable by imprisonment of 1 or more years;
  • Simple Assault, except when graded as an M3;
  • Sexual Intercourse with an Animal;
  • Impersonating a Public Servant;
  • Intimidation of a Witness/Victim;
  • Retaliation Against a Witness/Victim;
  • Intimidation, Retaliation, and/or Obstruction in child abuse cases; and,
  • Any offense requiring sexual offender registration.

The Act will take effect 270 days from February 16, 2016.

The new cost associated with the expungement filing fee will be $132.00 payable to the Clerk of Courts.

Read the new PA Senate Bill on Criminal Record Expungement in full here.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY for a free consultation at 412.456.1221.

Learn More About Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania:

If you have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.


Can Your Criminal Record Be Expunged?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately 92% of employers conduct criminal background checks before hiring a potential new employee. A criminal charge on your record can have long lasting implications on your life and your job prospects.  Because of this, it is important to make sure your record is criminal charge free.

Pennsylvania allows for the expungement of many criminal charges that may have been filed against you. An expungement is a court order directing all of the institutions that have records of your charge(s) to destroy those records.  This will prevent anyone running a background from seeing that those charges have been filed.

If you or someone you know has been criminally charged, contact the experienced Pittsburgh criminal attorneys of Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221.  We can evaluate your charge(s) for free and determine whether you are an eligible candidate to have your charge(s) expunged.

If you have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law: