Good news has come out recently for individuals that have been accused or convicted in the past of committing crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. The expungement of criminal records might be expanded in Pennsylvania.  A bill has been brought up for debate in the Pennsylvania legislature that would cause for a significant expansion of the right of criminal defendants to have their criminal records expunged. If adopted by the Pennsylvania legislature and accepted by the Governor, then individuals who have been convicted of committing non- violent  Read about Violent Crime charges here misdemeanors of the second and third degree can petition a court of common pleas judge to have their convictions for these crimes expunged.

What is an Expungement?

An Expungement is the primary tool that criminal defendants have when they attempt to have their criminal records cleaned. An expungement permits an individual to petition a Court of Common Pleas Judge to sign a court order permitting an accused to have a portion of their criminal record deleted or expunged.

Why would someone want a portion of their criminal record expunged?

The primary reason that individuals want to have their criminal records expunged is so that they can try and obtain employment and won’t have the stain of a criminal conviction or charge on their record.  Read about Underage expungement here

What is the current state of the law when it comes to getting your criminal record expunged in Pennsylvania?

The current state of the law when it comes to expunging your record is that individuals may have charges expunged if they completed a diversionary program such as Drug Court or ARD or Section 17 charges. An individual is also eligible to have charges expunged that they have not been convicted of. Finally, individuals can have summary charges, such as Disorderly Conduct, expunged after five years have elapsed from the conviction.