When someone files a petition for expungement in Pennsylvania, there is a specific procedure which occurs next: The Commonwealth reviews the expungement petition and has an opportunity to either agree to the petition for expungement or object to the petition for expungement.
Those who have been convicted of a summary offense are eligible to have that conviction expunged from their criminal history. In cases where an individual has been convicted of a non-underage drinking summary offense, the person is eligible for expungement:
Under Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, generally, evidence of a past crime, wrong, or other bad act is not admissible for the purpose of showing that the accused did something bad in his past it is more likely he committed the crime he is presently facing at trial. Stated a different way: it is the general rule that the Commonwealth is not permitted to introduce the defendant's prior crimes or other bad acts for the purpose of showing the defendant committed this present crime or to show "once a criminal, always a criminal."
Pennsylvania law prohibits individuals from driving, operating, or being in actual control of a motor vehicle on any roadway in the Commonwealth if that person is under the influence of controlled substances or a combination of controlled substances and alcohol. The penalties for these types of offenses are based on what controlled substance is in the person's blood and in what amount.
Under Megan's Law or SORNA, those convicted of certain sex offenders are automatically required to register as a sex offender. Based on the type of offense and number of counts, the person's length of registration and registration requirements are based under which tier the offense falls. Listed below are the different tiers, the lengths of reporting associated with the tier, and example of what offenses are under that tier:
When a person is convicted of violating one of the Driving Under the Influence sections, he is subject to some period of license suspension. If that person is found to be driving while his license is still under suspension for the DUI conviction, that person could face jail time for violating 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(b) or Driving While Operating Privilege is Suspended - DUI related.
When a person is charged with a drug trafficking offense there are a number of vital questions that must be addressed, specifically: what drug is the person being charged with selling; what is the weight of the controlled substance; and does the person have a prior conviction for drug trafficking. The reason these questions are important is because, based on the answers, the person could be looking at mandatory minimum sentences.
When someone has been convicted of possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver, they face certain mandatory minimum sentences based on various factors. A mandatory minimum sentence means that a judge must impose at the least a certain number of years based on the fact that the person has been convicted of this crime. Because of a recent United States Supreme Court case, the District Attorney must prove all the factors which could lead to a mandatory minimum sentence beyond a reasonable doubt.