Everyone makes mistakes, but those errors in judgment should not haunt someone for the rest of their life. Pennsylvania permits individuals with certain types of juvenile or adult records the right to petition the court for the expungement of their criminal histories. A Pennsylvania criminal record expungement results in the destruction of the records of your apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition for an offense committed in the juvenile or adult justice system.
Advantages of a PA Criminal Record Expungement
The existence of an adult or juvenile record may make it difficult for you to become employed, work in your chosen profession or advance in your current job. An individual with an adult or juvenile record may also be prevented from working in certain jobs that require professional licensing or certification. As a consequence, your earning potential may be greatly limited.
An expungement can greatly increase your employment, housing, educational, professional and financial opportunities. The expungement of your criminal record can also protect your privacy and reputation as well as provide peace of mind.
Bucks County Expungement Attorney
I am among the most experienced expungement attorneys in Pennsylvania. I can determine whether you are eligible for expungement in Bucks County, Montgomery County or the surrounding counties. Don’t let a criminal record keep you from getting the job you deserve. Contact me at (215) 752-5282 for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response. Appointments are available after business hours and on weekends.
Who is Eligible for Expungement in Pennsylvania?
You may be eligible for expungement of your adult criminal records if any of the following circumstances apply:
- Your criminal charges were dismissed or withdrawn, or you were found not guilty after trial
- Your criminal charges were dismissed after successful completion of Section 17 or Section 18 of the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act
- You successfully completed ARD as a 1st time DUI offender, paid all fines and costs, and completed all terms and conditions of probation
- You have successfully completed ARD for a non-DUI offense, paid all fines and costs, and completed all terms and conditions of probation
- You have completed Section 17 supervision and have had no subsequent arrests; you have paid all fines and costs and have met all the terms and conditions of probation
- You are at least 70 years of age and have not been arrested in the 10 years since your conviction
- The subject of the expungement petition has been dead for 3 years or more
- You have received a pardon for the conviction from the Governor of Pennsylvania
- You were convicted of underage drinking offenses, and you are now 21 years of age or older
- You were convicted of a summary offense more than 5 years ago and have received no subsequent criminal charges
Does an Expungement Clear My Record?
Yes. A criminal record expungement will result in the mandatory destruction of the records related to your criminal or juvenile case. Without an expungement, your records would be maintained in various law enforcement offices and court agencies. In addition, your adult criminal record would remain accessible through a public access court website.
Other Benefits of Expungement
- Effectively removes your criminal record from employment and background searches
- Removes potential adverse effect of your record in adoption proceedings
- Increases eligibility for professional licensure and certification
- May increase your earning potential and ability to be promoted at your job
- May enable you to restore your gun rights
- Restores privacy
- Prevents your criminal record from adversely affecting your housing opportunities
- Provides personal satisfaction that your reputation has been restored
- May increase your ability to receive insurance and personal loans
- May increase your ability to receive student loans
PA Juvenile Record Expungement
Pennsylvania law allows certain juvenile records to be expunged including cases involving summary, misdemeanor and felony offenses. Pennsylvania’s juvenile expungement law is found under 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9123. Individuals may petition for expungement of their juvenile records under the following circumstances:
- A formal juvenile complaint was filed which turned out to be unsubstantiated.
- A formal juvenile complaint was filed but was dismissed by the court.
- Six months have elapsed since the individual has successfully completed an informal adjustment and no adjudication proceeding is currently pending.
- Six months have elapsed since the individual’s final discharge from supervision under a consent decree or other juvenile diversion program and no new juvenile or adult charges are pending.
- You are 18 years of age or older and:
- You were convicted of underage drinking while under the age of 18; and:
- Six months have elapsed since completion of the case: and
- All conditions of the case have been completed including any suspension of driving privileges
- You were 18 years of age or older and;
- You were convicted of a summary offense; and
- Six months have elapsed since completion of the case; and
- All conditions of the case have been completed; and
- No felony or misdemeanor convictions since completion of the case; and
- No juvenile or adult charges are pending.
- Five years have elapsed since the discharge of the individual from commitment, placement or probation in the case and the individual has not been charged or convicted any new offenses.
- The prosecutor consents to the expungement after considering the type of offense, background of the petitioner, potential hardship to the petitioner and public safety reasons for preserving the records.
Individuals who were 14 years of age or older and adjudicated delinquent for certain sexual offenses are not eligible for juvenile expungement.
Why You Should Have a Juvenile Record Expunged
I have extensive experience helping individuals successfully expunge their juvenile records in Bucks County, Montgomery County and the surrounding counties. For example, a juvenile record may make it difficult for an individual to get into college, graduate school or the military.
A juvenile record can also make it difficult for a young person to find a job in their chosen field or profession. Do not hesitate to contact me if you are an adult with a juvenile record or if you are a parent and your son or daughter has a juvenile record. I have the experience to help you effectively navigate the expungement process while working to protect your future or the future of your loved one.
Protection From Abuse Expungement
The existence of the records from a PFA may make it extremely difficult to become employed, advance in your career or receive advanced education. In addition, a PFA record will often cause incredible damage to an individual’s personal and professional reputation. Unfortunately, many people will conclude you are a domestic abuser even when a domestic abuse allegation has been withdrawn or been proven to be false.
A temporary PFA can be expunged in a circumstance where no final PFA order was ordered in the case. Moreover, the records of a PFA may also be expunged when the PFA has been withdrawn prior to becoming a final order or where the PFA has been dismissed by court order. I explain the PFA expungement process in the PA Protection from Abuse (PFA) Defense page.
How to Get a Criminal Record Expunged in PA
The Pennsylvania expungement process can take up to 6 months to complete. The process is initiated with the filing of the Expungement Petition and supporting paperwork with the Clerk of Courts in the county where the charges were filed. The district attorney is given a deadline of 60 days to either oppose, consent or take no position on the expungement request.
The Expungement Hearing
The Common Pleas Court Judge will schedule a hearing on the Petition if the District Attorney objects to the expungement. At the hearing, the prosecutor must demonstrate why expungement should not be granted for criminal charges that do not result in a conviction.
I will present evidence of your character and background to persuade the judge that your criminal records deserve to be expunged. It is important to have an experienced expungement lawyer representing you at this hearing. A decision on the petition is usually issued by the judge at the conclusion of the hearing or shortly afterwards. An expungement order will usually be granted by the court unless compelling evidence for preservation of the records is established by the prosecutor.
What Happens After the Judge Orders an Expungement?
Certified copies of the Order for Expungement are then forwarded to all agencies in possession of your records. Those records may include information related to your apprehension, arrest, detention, processing, booking, trial, adjudication or disposition for an offense in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system. Those agencies are required to destroy all paperwork and electronic documentation related to your case. Those agencies will then be required to provide our office with written verification of the destruction of the records.
How Long Does Expungement Take in PA?
The Pennsylvania expungement process takes approximately 6 months to complete in most counties. The 6-month timeframe starts with filing the expungement petition and ends when the last court office, police department, or other agency completes the destruction of your criminal records.
Trusted and Experienced in the Expungement Process
The process for completing an expungement is a long and complicated one. Petitions for expungement are often denied because court documents are not filled out properly or because the petition or accompanying documentation is not filed on time. I am skilled and knowledgeable in all areas of Pennsylvania expungement law. I can help you navigate the complicated process of having your adult criminal record or juvenile record expunged.
Take the First Step to Protect Your Future
An adult or juvenile record can carry severe consequences for your personal, professional and financial future. It is extremely important that you take the necessary steps to have your adult or juvenile record expunged. I can help determine whether you or a loved one is eligible for an adult or juvenile record expungement in Bucks County, Montgomery County or the surrounding counties. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day at (215) 752-5282. Call today for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response.