There are many reasons for you to expunge your criminal record. A criminal record can keep you from obtaining employment, housing (some landlords may not rent to you), and federal student aid. In general, having a criminal record may threaten your overall livelihood. Read on to learn how to expunge your criminal record in Pennsylvania.
What is an Expungement in PA?
According to Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa. C. § 9122, under limited circumstances, individuals may obtain a court order to have all of their criminal records removed (expunged) from the files of the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and other criminal justice agencies such as the local county or township police department, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
Who Can Obtain a Record Expungement in PA?
In Pennsylvania, the following individuals are eligible to obtain an expungement:
- Anyone who has been accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitation Deposition (A.R.D.) program and has paid all fines and costs and completed all of the terms and conditions of probation;
- Anyone who pled guilty to a summary offense more than five (5) years ago and has no subsequent criminal charges;
- Anyone who was charged with any criminal charge that was dismissed, withdrawn, or found not guilty after trial; or
- Anyone under section17 supervision is automatically eligible to have their record expunged if there are no subsequent arrests, the terms and conditions of probation have been met, and all fines and costs are paid.
Generally, felony and misdemeanors convictions are not eligible for an expungement. If you plead guilty or were found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony offense, you must apply for a Governor’s Pardon.
How to Begin the Expungement Process in PA
In order to obtain an expungement, a motion must be filed with the appropriate Clerk of Courts in your corresponding county. Once the motion has been filed, a hearing before a Common Pleas Judge will be scheduled. During the hearing, the judge will hear testimony and, if appropriate, sign the Order for Expungement.
Next, the Clerk of the Courts will send certified copies to all agencies listed in the motion that hold your record(s). Once the listed agencies receive a certified order, they are required to destroy all paperwork and electronic information pertaining to your case.
It may take up to one (1) year for the expungement process to be completed after a judge signs an Order of Expungement. Use the Unified Judicial System to search for your criminal records.
Connect with the Law Offices of Basil D. Beck III for more information about how to expunge your criminal record. Our expungement attorney can review your eligibility for expungement in Pennsylvania. We can be reached at 610-239-8870.