When a crime is committed, the offender may receive a criminal record as a result. Criminal records come with very severe consequences that can impact the rest of a person’s life. Criminal records can make it difficult for people to get jobs, housing, education, loans, and more. Pennsylvania realizes this effect that criminal records have on people. This is why the state offers offenders the chance to expunge their record, as long as they qualify. Expungement allows crimes and misdemeanors to be erased from a person’s criminal record. When this happens, the individual can truthfully answer “no” to whether or not they committed a crime on any necessary applications or documents. After a record is expunged, it can only be accessed by certain law enforcement agencies.
Am I Eligible?
Expungement allows people with a criminal history the opportunity to have a clean slate and get their lives back on track. When a record is erased, new doors can open for the individual’s future. It is important to know that in order to be eligible to have a record expunged, there are certain qualifications that must apply to the case. The individual must have no further convictions for a period of five years after the crime that they are trying to expunge. Other qualifications may include:
- If they were convicted for drinking underage, their record may be expunged when they turn 21 years old
- When it was their first offense and the successfully completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or ARD
- If they were convicted of a crime as a juvenile
- If they have not had any arrests in 10 years and are over 70 years old
- If the charges against them were dismissed or dropped
Crimes that Cannot be Expunged
It is important to know that there are certain crimes that the state of Pennsylvania does not allow to be expunged. This may include:
- Certain firearm and weapons offenses
- Animal cruelty
- Sexual acts with an animal
- Crimes that require the individual to register under Megan’s Law
- Witness retaliation or intimidation
- Subsequent criminal convictions
When the process of expungement begins, the individual must fill out a Request for Individual Access and Review (form SP 4-170). This needs to be mailed to the Pennsylvania State Police with a copy of the individual’s government-issued photo ID, a legal affidavit or letter or representation, and a certified check for $20. Once this is done, they will receive their full arrest record in the mail. The individual must then consult with the Clerk of Courts in the county where they committed the crime they were arrested for to petition the court for expungement. If the court approves, the order will be signed by a Judge and sent to the state police to conclude the process.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to expunge their record, contact the Law Offices of Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.
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