The expungement laws in the State of Pennsylvania are particularly harsh. Pennsylvania generally doesn’t allow for the expungement of criminal charges unless the person seeking the expungement is over 70 years old OR has been dead for three years (at which point is family applies for it). And at that point, who really cares? Ah, but there is that sneaky provision for the charge of underage drinking and minors in possession of alcohol. Its there – you just have to look hard.
Its at 18 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 9122 (a)(3) and it provides that anyone can get their underage drinking conviction, or any other conviction under 18 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 6308, expunged provided they fulfill these requirements: 1) The petitioner has paid off all his fines and costs on the ticket; 2) has satisfied the driver’s license suspension that resulted from conviction; AND 3) has filed his petition for expungement in the Court of Common Pleas where the conviction occurred (not where one lives). If a person can get all this done, then the Court of Common Pleas judge that reviews it MUST order the conviction expunged.
Notice that there is no requirement that a person must wait until the age of 18 or 21 or for wait five or so years has passed since the conviction occurred. A person looking to expunge for can do it as soon as they fulfill the above conditions. As a Pa. underage drinking lawyer, I can tell you that this provision, and an opportunity to wipe off a conviction, is particularly important considering all the colleges in our area like Drexel, Ursinus, Cabrini, and St. Josephs (not to mention high schools like Harriton and Lower Merion High School) where kids are either trying to get into these schools or trying to get jobs upon graduating from them. A clean criminal record IS that important.