Criminal Record Expungements
What is an Expungement in Pennsylvania?
- An expungement is a legal proceeding requesting a criminal record be sealed or destroyed, effectively clearing your arrest record. All files relating to your criminal conviction, dismissal, arrest or acquittal will be inaccessible to potential employers or others and not appear in a background check.The records expunged can include identifiable descriptions, dates and notations of arrests, indictments, information and other formal charges or dispositions. These records also include all complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, “rap sheets” and judicial dockets.Law enforcement officials and courts will still be able to access the expunged information in order to determine your eligibility for alternative punishment programs and future offenses.
Who is eligible for Expungement in Pennsylvania?
- Many people made one mistake and are now experiencing the serious consequences and embarrassment of a conviction. If you have kept clean for a number of years, you may be eligible for the expungements of certain criminal records.
You may petition to expunge arrests & non-convictions if:
You were found not guilty.
Your charges were dismissed.
Your charges were withdrawn.
You were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, completed all terms and conditions and paid all fines and costs.
You received Probation Without Verdict under the Controlled Substances Act.
You were a first-time DUI offender and successfully completed ARD.
You were charged as a juvenile.
You had an underage drinking conviction (once you turn 21).
You are 70 years or older and have not been arrested in 10 years.
You pled guilty to a summary offense more than five years ago and have a clean record since the offense.
You were charged with an alcohol-related offense and have met all the terms and conditions of the sentence imposed.
Are all crimes eligible for Expungement?
- Not all crimes are eligible for expungement. State law specifically prohibits the courts from expunging records of those charged with certain sexual assault or related offenses against victims under the age of 18, even if the offender has successfully complied with the terms of ARD.
What types of crimes are eligible for Expungement?
- If your criminal record is otherwise clean and you have no other charges pending, you may be able to have your records expunged for convictions of offenses such as:
Retail theft (shoplifting)
Driving without a license
And other non-traffic summary offenses
It is critical to have an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney defend you against the original charges. Repko Law, LLC has worked to have many of our clients’ charges dismissed or reduced to offenses that can be expunged.
What are the benefits of an Expungement in Pennsylvania?If you’ve been arrested in Pennsylvania, the arrest record can haunt you for the rest of your life, even if you’ve never been convicted. Your job prospects, educational opportunities and housing options can all be hindered if you have to say “yes” when asked if you have ever been arrested. An expungement wipes your slate clean and allows you to truthfully state “no” to that perilous question.
Reasons to Expunge your Criminal Record:
An expungement takes away the ability to publicly search your arrest record and gives you a fresh start. Once your record has been expunged, the law allows one to say it never happened.
How does the expungement process work in Pennsylvania?
To get adult criminal records expunged in Pennsylvania, a Petition for Expungement with the Court of Common Pleas, together with supporting paperwork and filing fees, must be filed in the county in which the offenses occurred. At the time the petition is filed, a hearing is scheduled before a judge who will determine if your expungement request should be granted.In determining if your request should be granted, the court will consider such factors as damage to your reputation, livelihood and future earnings capacity; the nature and severity of the offense; your prior criminal history; and the state’s interest in preserving the record to protect the public.Once granted, the Court Order for Expungement will be submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository for Criminal History Information in Harrisburg, Pa. This agency will disseminate the Court Order for Expungement to all agencies that have previously received the information that is the subject of the order. Once received, they are required to destroy all paperwork and electronic information pertaining to your case and then mail verification of such to confirm compliance with the Order.
How long does the expungement process take?
Generally, the entire expungement process can take anywhere from 3-9 months to complete. The law office of Repko Law, LLC works diligently to expedite the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, the Pennsylvania expungement process requires paperwork to be handled by various offices throughout the state and a large part of the process is determined by the schedules of each office.
Can an expungement be denied?
- Yes, an Expungement can be denied if the District Attorney does not think that expungement is appropriate, objects to your petition, and a judge agrees with him. Pennsylvania law explicitly prohibits the courts from expunging records, even though the individual has effectively complied with the terms of the accelerated rehabilitation disposition, where he or she had been charged with certain kinds of sexual assault offenses against juvenile.
What are the advantages of having Repko Law, LLC handle my expungement?
- Expunging criminal records can be a complicated, time-consuming process. Your Petition for and proposed Order of Expungement must contain specific, complete and accurate information or the court will dismiss it.The attorneys at Repko Law, LLC have decades of experience defending clients against criminal charges and have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and procedures governing expungements. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through every step of the expungement process. We will prepare and file all documentation required by the courts and be your advocate during all hearings or proceedings throughout the entire expungement process.If you are interested in having an arrest or conviction expunged from your record, the experienced criminal record expungement attorneys at Repko Law, LLC can help you. We have extensive expertise in getting Bucks County and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania expungements filed as quickly, thoroughly and efficiently as possible so you can put this behind and look forward to a future unhindered by the past.