Pennsylvania Criminal Record Expungement
If you or somebody you know is living with a criminal record in Pennsylvania, you probably know how frustrating it can be to have those past mistakes hold you back in life. Unfortunately, like most states, Pennsylvania makes the criminal records of its residents easy to access by anybody. Coupled with an increase in inexpensive online background check sites, having a Pennsylvania criminal record can keep you from getting the job you deserve, desirable housing, professional licenses, and countless opportunities which would otherwise be available without a criminal record.
Fortunately, for many living with a Pennsylvania criminal record, Pennsylvania State law provides options to expunge or seal their record, and move on in life without the burden of having a criminal past. After obtaining a Pennsylvania expungement, you may legally state that you were not convicted or arrested of the expunged offense, and if your expungement order is properly enforced, commercial background check companies are legally required to remove your expunged records from their databases.
If you successfully obtain an expungement in Pennsylvania, your case will be completely removed from the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System, restricting access to the public, and preventing Pennsylvania State agencies from using expunged offenses against you, other benefits include:
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
- Being able to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense to employers and landlords
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Eliminating the concern and potential embarrassment of failing a background check by removing public access to sensitive personal information
If you’re ready to move on in life without a criminal record holding you back, our law firm has is here to help—the first step is simply taking our free, confidential Eligibility Test to see if you qualify. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Licensed Attorneys or Criminal Records Analysts, just give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service form our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, our attorneys are rated as Super Lawyers, and as Superb Attorneys by prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Pennsylvania state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!
Pennsylvania Expungement Services
Currently, Pennsylvania’s expungement laws are generally limited to the following types of Pennsylvania criminal records:
Successful Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispositions (ARD): You should qualify for a Pennsylvania expungement if you have successfully completed an ARD program for a criminal offense and had the charges dismissed.
- If you have successfully completed ARD prior to March 28, 2013, your ARD case will not be automatically expunged upon completion of the program—you must specifically petition the court to remove your criminal record after completion of your ARD program.
- For ARD programs which have been successfully completed after March 28, 2013, your associated criminal record should be automatically expunged. However, this is not always the case, and if your criminal record is still appearing after completion of your ARD program, please contact us for help in ensuring that it is properly expunged.
Expungement of Arrest Records: If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, but have not been convicted, the record of your arrest unfortunately remains visible and easily accessible to the public—successful expungement will remove your arrest record from the public record as if it never occurred.
- You will typically be eligible to expunge a Pennsylvania arrest record if any of the following are true: (i) your case was dismissed; (ii) you were found not guilty, or (iii) the charges were withdrawn or nolle prossed. If you have been arrested, but still have charges pending, you will not qualify to have your arrest record expunged.
Expungement of Summary Offenses: Under Pennsylvania Law, a “Summary Offense” is not a misdemeanor or a felony—these are lesser criminal offenses, including but not limited to: disorderly conduct, trespass, criminal mischief, underage drinking, retail theft, harassment, and other low-level offenses. A complete list of Summary Offenses can be found here.
- If you were over 18 when convicted of a Summary Offense, five years must elapse without another arrest before you may be eligible for expungement.
- If you were under 18 years when convicted of a Summary Offense, you may expunge it once you’ve turned 18 and six months have passed since paying all fines.
Obtaining an expungement in Pennsylvania can be complicated and difficult without the assistance of an experience attorney. Our experienced and licensed attorneys are here to help ensure you have the best chance of successfully obtaining an expungement and putting your criminal record behind you—please take our free, confidential Eligibility Test or call (844) 947-3732 today to see if we can help!
Record Sealing of Misdemeanor Convictions
Pennsylvania has recently passed a new set of record sealing laws, which now permit certain misdemeanor convictions to be sealed, regardless of whether ARD was granted or successfully completed. The legal term for this service in Pennsylvania is an “order for limited access.” Records sealed under the new law are not destroyed and remain available only to a limited number of state agencies. If you are granted an “order for limited access,” your records will no longer be available to the general public, private employers, or landlords.
The general qualifications for sealing a misdemeanor conviction are as follows: (i) the misdemeanor must be a second or third degree misdemeanor, or an “ungraded offense;” (ii) ten years must have passed since you have completed the terms of your sentence, and you cannot have been arrested or convicted of a crime during that time period; and (iii) it must not be a prohibited offense (such as intimidating a witness or an offense requiring sexual offender registration)—you can find a list of these offenses HERE.
Unfortunately, not all criminal records are eligible for expungement under current Pennsylvania State Law; however, the new record sealing law may now be available to you instead. If you’d like to find out whether you’re offense qualifies for one of these Pennsylvania criminal record removal services, feel free to contact us today. The expungement and record sealing process in Pennsylvania can be difficult to accomplish without the assistance of an attorney. It’s recommended that you consult a law firm experienced in such matters to work on removing your criminal record so that you can move on in life without that heavy burden.
Click here to read the Pennsylvania expungement statute.
Pennsylvania Office Location:
1650 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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