Need Help With an Expungement in Pennsylvania?

Get Help From An Experienced Defense Lawyer

An arrest record can follow you for the rest of your life. Even if you were arrested in error or were later found not guilty of criminal charges, that arrest stays on your record until something is done to remove it. Usually, that “something” is called an expungement.

An expungement is the removal of all arrest data and information from your record. It can even include the destruction of fingerprint records and arrest reports. In some ways, it’s as if the arrest never happened.

But expungements are not automatic in the state of Pennsylvania—you must petition the court.

Do I Qualify For An Expungement?

Under Pennsylvania law, only certain cases qualify for expungements. Those include:

  • Where the case was resolved with a not guilty finding or when charges were dismissed
  • If charges were never officially brought after 18 months following an arrest
  • Following a conviction for a summary offense and where the person has remained arrest-free for five years after.

In other cases, a judge can decide to grant an expungement even when it is not explicitly allowed by statute. This means you could qualify for an expungement if you have a criminal conviction on your record. Discussing your record with a Pennsylvania expungement attorney will help you understand the likelihood that a judge would grant such a motion in your particular case.

How does a judge decide who gets an expungement?

There are many things a judge has to take into account when deciding whether to grant an expungement. First and foremost is the law. Have you paid your debt to society and are you an upstanding, law-abiding community member today?

Also, they have to weigh the value of keeping your arrest record maintained.

  • Is there sufficient reason for keeping it on file?
  • Will it serve the public to know about your prior interactions with the court or could the elimination of your record cause someone to suffer harm?

How an Arrest Record Can Affect You

Arrest records are accessible for anyone these days. Online services make it easy for people to simply pay a fee and see what your past holds. Even when you are found not-guilty of an offense, that record is still on file.

A criminal record can affect everything from your employment to your housing options. It can make it difficult to move on from a past that may have been troubled or even from an arrest that was made through police error. One mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life.

A Pennsylvania expungement attorney can help you clear your name and start anew. While the law designates certain people who qualify for expungements, judges sometimes grant them in additional cases.

Contact our offices today to discuss the chances of you getting your criminal record removed.

 

 

We represent clients in criminal cases across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Carlisle and Lancaster, and  Bucks, Montgomery, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties. Call today, no obligation!
(888) 412-3298.

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