Steps You Can Take to Erase a Prior Criminal Record

Steps You Can Take to Erase a Prior Criminal Record

Criminal Record Expungement in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, under specific circumstances, you can successfully petition a court to seal or eliminate all access to prior criminal records, including charges for which you were not convicted. To initiate the expungement process, you should contact an experienced attorney, as the process can be complex.

The first step in the expungement process is the filing of a Petition for Expungement, which must be done in the Court of Common Pleas in the jurisdiction (typically the county) where the records are being held. Upon the filing of your petition, the court will schedule a hearing to determine the merits of your request. The court may expunge records under certain circumstances:

  • If you are at least 70 and have not been arrested for at least 10 years since your charge or conviction
  • You seek the expungement of the criminal record of someone who has been deceased for at least three years

There are limitations on the types of records that may be expunged. For example, records related to sex offenses are typically not subject to expungement, even if you have completed sentencing or ARD requirements.

If the offense is one that is eligible for expungement, however, the court will weigh a range of factors when making its decision, including

  • the potential damage to your reputation
  • the impact of a criminal record on your ability to be gainfully employed or your future earning capacity
  • any prior criminal record
  • the state’s concern about protecting the public
  • the nature and seriousness of the original offense

Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.

At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at (610) 565-0240 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.

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